Doha, Qatar: In two weeks’ time, Aspire Academy will celebrate the journey of 42 talented athletes who make up Qatar’s next generation of stars. The 11th Aspire Academy graduation will see students from athletics, gymnastics, football, football refereeing, fencing, and table tennis capped in a Graduation Ceremony due to be held in Aspire Dome on June 26.
The ceremony will be attended by senior officials from Aspire Academy and its parent organisation, Aspire Zone Foundation, including Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy and Ali Salem Afifa, Deputy Director General. They will be accompanied by various officials and decision makers in the sports field from local sports federations and clubs.
The ceremony will bring an end to another successful year for Aspire Academy as it pursues its mission to identify and develop well-educated sports and academic champions. It will also mark the culmination of six years of diligent effort from the student-athletes themselves during their time at Aspire Academy, and highlights the academy’s continued efforts to launch their careers.
This year’s batch of graduates is full of talent and promise. Some of them have already proven themselves in various local and international sports competitions as they brought back gold, silver, and bronze medals to Qatar and were crowned championships at various tournaments.
Some of these include Aspire Academy’s current graduate, Moaaz Ibrahim, who recently returned from the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Japan with two medals - a gold and silver in shot put and discus throw respectively. He is due to compete in the upcoming Junior World Athletics Championships to defend his 2016 discus throw title.
In football, the Under-19 Qatar national team, comprised entirely of Aspire Academy’s student-athletes and graduates, qualified to compete at the 2018 AFC Under-19 Championship, a biennial sporting event that’s due to be held next October 2018 in Indonesia. The top four teams will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup as the AFC representatives.
In fencing, student-athlete Yousef Al Bader finished second in the Turkish Fencing Federation European Cadet Circuit (Under-17), which featured 70 competitors from around the world.
Meanwhile in squash, Hamad Al Amri, one of this year’s graduates, won second place at the Luxembourg Junior Open for the Under-19 age group.
Aspire Academy first opened its doors in 2004 and is already considered one of the leading sports institutions in the Middle East. This progress underpins its vision to become the world’s leading sports academy in the development of young athletes by 2020. It offers an integrated educational programme of sports development, sports science and academic learning to boys aged 12 to 18, deploying all of its technical and human capabilities to best develop student-athletes’ skills.
The faculty at the Academy also trains and develops student-athletes using the latest equipment and methodologies, with teachers continuously learning from experts from around the world at conferences and sessions aimed at elevating their sports development capacities and enhancing their talent identification skills.