By: Joseph Benny

Plans to encourage sports among Muscat governorate’s youth may have hit a roadblock. During a recent meeting between the Municipal Council and the Ministry of Sports Affairs (MoSA), the issue of non-availability of land for recreational playgrounds came up for discussion as most youngsters are forced to use landscaped stretches for sports.

MoSA officials told the council that shortage of land was keeping the ministry from taking its efforts ahead.

“The meeting was attended by H E Eng Mohsin bin Mohammed Sheikh, chairman of Muscat Municipality and senior MoSA officials,” a Muscat Municipality spokesperson said. “The lack of sports and recreational facilities in new housing societies also came up for discussions.”

The official said that the ministry and the Municipal Council discussed the damage caused to landscaped stretches across in the city from being used as playgrounds.

“These areas are not meant for outdoor sports.”

Other issue of priority for the municipality was improving facilities for the elderly. “It will concentrate on health and other social problems faced by the elderly. This matter was also taken up at the Municipal Council meeting.” About the general health drives, he said the municipality conducts regular checks to prevent malaria. “Inspections particularly focus on construction sites where there can be stagnated water.” He said that the municipality has initiated this campaign with partnership of the Ministry of Health.