14 Jun 2022

Aspire Academy on Tuesday evening celebrated its 15th batch of graduation with a second largest group since the academy was launched in 2004. 


After last years record 51 students, who stepped out of the iconic academy, this year 45 student-athletes were capped at a ceremony to mark the end of the 2021-22 academic year.


The ceremony took place at the Aspire Dome in the presence of top dignitaries, members of the Academy’s senior management and parents of the student-athletes.


Mr. Ivan Bravo, Aspire Academy Director General, eulogized the resilience, dedication, and mental strength of the graduating student-athletes for overcoming challenges including the global pandemic. 


"It’s a truly joyous moment for you all. I would also like to thank the coaches and teachers. They’re the ones who nurture the students. They are also a part of this incredible journey,” said Mr. Bravo during his note speech addressed to the graduates.


“This year’s graduation ceremony is unique. You’re the class of 22 as you’re passing out in an important year when Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup.”


Bravo also told the students to retain the character, values and legacy that constitutes the very ethics of Aspire Academy.


“The first baby steps since the academy was launched in 2004 will always guide you all. Our values are very important and always focus on dignity and generosity.


“Character is our greatest legacy. When you go out of the academy, people will remember your character,” he added. 


The 15th graduation batch compromised of student-athletes across 8 sporting disciplines: Football (24), Athletics (11), Football Referees (3), Squash (2), Swimming (2), Fencing (1), Motorsport (1) and Gymnastics (1).


It was the second highest number of student-athletes to graduate since the first batch in 2008. 


Aspire Academy Director of Education and Student affairs, Mr. Badr Al Hay congratulated the graduates and praised their efforts during their stay at the academy.


“Graduation is only the end of high school, but a second phase of your lives has just begun,” said Mr Al Badr during his speech.


This is an important day for you all. We at the Aspire Academy are very proud to see you move onto the next phase in your lives. We’re hopeful and confident that the qualities of true champions that you learnt at the academy will guide you well.”


Shaheen Al Habshi, who graduated as one of the three football referees, was nurtured at the Aspire Academy by Qatar Football Association Refereeing Department and was assigned to officiate a range of matches from (U13 right through to second division Qatar Gas League).


“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be in this pioneering academy that changed the course of my life and led me to develop and highlight my talent. I was able to develop and refine my talent in refereeing through my academic studies at Aspire,” said Al Habshi, who was also trained in video technology and was assigned to officiate matches as a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) operator.

Abdel-Majid Mahadjir, one of the upcoming athletes in the country, credited Aspire Academy for developing his personality and mental strength.

“I will always be thankful to Aspire Academy. My self-confidence increased and I was able to balance studies and sports,” said Abdel-Majid, who boasts of a couple of international achievements against his name at the West Asian, Arab and GCC Athletics Championships.


Artistic gymnast Rakan Al Harith, who represented Qatar country in several top international events while he was a student at the academy, spoke highly of the academy’s teaching methodology.

“I’ve gained a lot of life experience since joining Aspire Academy, most notably time management and self-reliance. At the academic level, I have learned to be fluent in Spanish,” said 17-year-old Rakan, who will be representing the country tomorrow at the 9th Senior Asian Championships here. 


Another graduate Khaled Hussein reflected on how Aspire Academy shaped his career in fencing.


"After joining Aspire, I learned discipline. The Academy gave me the

mentality of a professional athlete," said Hussein, who has done exceptionally well at the Arab Championships. 


The graduation ceremony completed yet another milestone for Aspire Academy, widely hailed as one of the world’s leading sports academies in the development of young athletes.

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