MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Over 200 personnel from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain volunteered for Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Bahrain’s Sports Day Feb. 11.
DoDEA Bahrain hosted a variety of physical activities in honor of Sports Day, a national day in Bahrain, both on school grounds and onboard NSA Bahrain. Almost 1,500 elementary, middle and high school students participated in a wide range of activities that promoted health, wellness and teamwork and brought people together.
“Bahrain Sports Day encourages athleticism, sportsmanship, a healthy lifestyle, and student athletes can grow and develop positive relationships with each other,” said Penelope Miller-Smith, elementary school principal at DoDEA Bahrain.
This year’s Sports Day was unique for DoDEA Bahrain because it’s the first time that they collaborated with another school for the event. The Modern Knowledge School, an international school in Manama, joined for all of the activities.
“Last year it was limited to our students. It is the first time, on a larger scale, that we are seeing community partnership. We are recognizing the importance of the day and the role it plays in the culture,” said Miller-Smith.
Sports Day activities included traditional sports as well as activities like a tricycle race, a bouncy castle and an obstacle course dubbed “the Spartan race.”
NSA Bahrain volunteers worked side-by-side with school officials to help with the children and ensure that safety was a top priority. Kinan Kawas, a physical education teacher at Modern Knowledge School, gave his thoughts on safety at the event.
“The goals for today are that there are no injuries; [to] make sure all the children are safe; let them enjoy their time together with one another,” said Kawas. “Also, let Bahrain School students work together and make friends with Modern Knowledge School students.”
Electronics Technician 3rd Class Josh Walker, a NSA Bahrain volunteer, said that the event was a success and that all of the kids connected very well.
“This is all about kids getting together and having fun. It is definitely working and I am very happy with that,” said Walker. “I wish my daughter was here. If she were here, she would enjoy herself.”
Manal El Chaer, an administrative assistant at Modern Knowledge School, also felt that the event was a great success. From her observation, all of the students got along, played well together and enjoyed themselves. She hopes to see the two schools partner up for events in the future.
“We are all one community together… it is great for us to mix the students like this because they can all learn from each other,” said El Chaer.
The elementary school portion of Sports Day concluded with a special appearance by Capt. Greg Smith, commanding officer of NSA Bahrain, and closing remarks by the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, Justin Siberell.
“I am particularly pleased to see the cooperation between Bahrain School and the Modern Knowledge School, you are neighbors, and it is very nice that you can bring the kids together for an opportunity to build new friendships, to develop understanding, as only sports can do,” Siberell in his remarks.
Sports Day emphasized the strong relationship that NSA Bahrain has with DODEA Bahrain and other partners in the host nation community.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Bahrain, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsabahrain/.