When schools reopen in September, Qatar’s student athletes will be greeted by a new logo promoting their involvement in the 6th edition of the ever-expanding Qatar Schools Olympic Programme (SOP). Set for an official launch on September 19, the new SOP logo will debut at a ceremony designed to celebrate the programme and its many partners, among them aspiring young athletes, teachers, schools, principals, and community organisations. The new logo takes its inspiration from the world-renowned symbol of the Olympics, with its five interlocking rings coloured blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. “The new SOP logo reinforces the values of the Olympic movement, where the rings are a universal symbol of continuity and humanity, and we wanted our new logo to reflect these values while expressing the notion of people and communities coming together,” said Mohamed al-Fadhala, executive director, SOP. “The colours of the SOP logo, which were also drawn from the Olympic symbol, are those found in the national flags of the world in the early 20th century,” says al-Fadhala. “We think the new logo will be appealing to children and adults, and its bold colours and form are already inspiring us with fun, new ideas for this year’s activities.” The SOP is held annually as a collaborative effort of the Olympic Committee, Supreme Education Council, Qatar School Sport Association and Qatar Paralympics Committee. The programme aims to spread a culture of sports throughout Qatar’s schools and to engage the entire community in active and healthy lifestyles while retaining local values and traditions. The school year 2012-2013 will see the programme explore the theme of “sports and investment” via partner Enterprise Qatar. This year’s slogan, “Schools Olympic Programme: Investing in Qatar’s Youth,” as well as new programme elements in events and activities, will reinforce the importance of sports and their related investment projects, and the positive social impact resulting from an active, healthy community. The Schools Olympic Programme saw a 400% increase in student participation in its fifth year. Launched in 2007 with 7,000 students, enrolment reached over 20,000 students from 370 independent and international schools in 2012.