Muscat: A day before the eight teams departed Al Mouj Marina to compete in the Sailing Arabia The Tour championship, they were out and about cleaning Al Hail beach as part of Oman Sail’s initiative to promote environmental sustainability.
Drawn from all corners of the world, the eight teams took to the beach early on the morning of the 13th, where they could be seen picking up garbage such as plastic bags, discarded bottles, cigarette butts, food and drink wrappers, and many other debris that visitors to the beach had left behind.
The initiative also included young Omani volunteers from schools in the surrounding area.
“We have a responsibility to protect our beaches and our environment because this is a God-given gift and we must take care of it for future generations,” said Assim Al Saqri, Public Relations Manager for Oman Sail.
“We are here today to show people that no matter where you come from, no matter your background or who you are, each one of us has a responsibility to preserving our environment for the future,” he added.
“The ocean and the beach is a very important part of who we are because we are all about promoting an active life, a natural and a healthy life and you can only do that when the environment around you is clean,” added Al Saqri.
His attitude towards sustainability was also echoed by Andrew Baker, team captain of Averda, one of the eight sailing teams who will be taking part in the oceanic race from Muscat, via Sohar, Khasab, Abu Dhabi and Doha, before finishing at Dubai by the end of this month.
“Our entire livelihood and passion depends on the state of the ocean, and as people who spend so much time out there and as role models for so many around the world, we need to ensure we show people the right way to care about our beaches and oceans,” he said.
“It’s a great initiative because we all have a responsibility towards preserving nature and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Oman Sail CEO David Graham was also quick to commend the efforts of his organisation.
“Sports tourism is a big part of the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to boost Oman’s profile, and over the next few days, the world will get to see Oman’s stunning coastline, its beautiful beaches and its amazing natural beauty,” said Graham.
“Of course, we owe to everyone to preserve our environment for the future and it’s important for us to lead by example,” he added.
In addition to their cleanup in Muscat, Oman Sail have organised beach cleanups in other locations along the sailing route.
Their next environmental initiative takes place in Khasab, with the cooperation of the officials of Oman’s northern governorate.