Doha: The Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), which plays a key role in the emergence of Qatar as a world-leading sports hub, marked a decade of sports excellence since being established in 2008. The AZF has been following a clear and consistent strategy to contribute to the vibrant and growing sports economy of the country while supporting the human and economic pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
On the occasion of AZF’s tenth anniversary, CEO Mohammad Khalifa Al Suwaidi said:
“This month we mark ten years of the decision by our country’s visionary leadership to establish AZF and direct investment and resources towards sporting development and focus on the steady expansion of sports-related industries in Qatar.”
“In the past few years, the sports scene in Qatar has developed steadily with Aspire Zone Foundation sitting at the heart of this remarkable progress. Now, AZF represents one of the world’s leading destinations and is an enormous source of national pride for the country’s citizens and residents.”
“If you draw a simple comparison between Qatar and the region before and after the establishment of AZF as a fully-integrated sports city, you can clearly identify the impact that the organisation has had, including delivering high-profile international sporting events. We have made enormous progress in developing the country’s sports infrastructure and facilities and cultivating our talented sportspersons including star athletes and Olympic champions,” said Al Suwaidi.
The country’s emergence as a destination of choice for international sporting events began in earnest in 2006 when Qatar hosted the Asian Games, the second-largest multi-sport event in the world. Since then, the country has hosted large numbers of major international competitions averaging nearly 80 events per year.
Crucially AZF is playing a central role in arguably the greatest sporting spectacle of them all – the FIFA World Cup. AZF’s involvement in supporting the tournament will create an incredible sporting and social legacy for the country which includes building Qatar World Cup host venues stadiums like Khalifa International Stadium and Al Khor Stadium. It is a legacy from which all members of the community stand to benefit, with access to world-class sporting facilities designed to support active and healthy lifestyles.
Research and Development
AZF believes that research is the essential foundation of outstanding player performance and athlete care, and works to integrate that research into daily clinical practice, in the hospital and on the playing field.
To this end, Aspetar is continually involved in ground-breaking research endeavours. A highly trained health and medical research team utilise state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to collect data that can be used to optimise athlete performance and recovery with a focus on the epidemiology of footballing injuries and their management. Their areas of focus include the treatment of groin pain, sports cardiology, applications of platelet rich plasma, athlete screening, the epidemiology of medical conditions, sporting activity during Ramadan, environmental physiology and healthy lifestyle advice.
In Aspire Academy, the Sports Science Department manages an Applied Sport Science Research Programme designed to increase capacity for applied research across Aspire’s diverse disciplines. In addition to in-house research, the programme provides extensive scope for collaboration with external partners.
In addition to their core servicing roles, Sports Science staff have been actively involved in applied sport science research aimed at maximising the performance of Aspire Academy programmes and athletes. So far, they have produced more than 75 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and made more than 58 presentations at international scientific conferences.
Aspire Logistics also manages a Centre of Excellence for natural sports turf research and development, and is working in very close partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy to develop the turf that will cover the pitches in the Qatar World Cup Qatar finals.