07 Sep 2023

A total of 60 new student-athletes have joined Aspire Academy at the start of the 2023-24 academic year which officially began on Sunday 3 September.

The new intake is set to train in seven different sports, with padel the latest sport adopted by the Academy with a total of six student-athletes joining various grades for the new year.

Grade 7 welcomes 35 newcomers, with 11 joining Grade 8, there are 4 additions to Grade 9 and a further 5 each in Grades 10 and 11.

As well as the six padel players there are 27 footballers, 5 referees, 14 in athletics, 3 squash players, 4 swimmers and one table tennis player.

The new academic year is the first since 2020 that will be free of all Covid-19 restrictions something that Aspire Academy’s school principal Jassem Al Jaber is looking forward to. 

“Let me congratulate all of the students for the new coming year, welcome the newcomers and congratulate the parents,” the principal said as the student-athletes returned to school.

“We have had a period of several years when we haven’t been able to be at occupation or carry out all our activities due to Covid-19.

“Now with this academic year, we will be back to normal at school and have the two daily training sessions. We are looking forward to the student-athletes being fully active and full of all the energy that we feel here at the Academy.”

The principal added that now the school has been re-accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) the staff will continue to meet those standards and improve on them.

“Working with students means you need to always be thinking about how you can develop them, how you can make them feel safe,” he explained.

“The aim is for them to progress in their sport and with their academics, that's why you need to work daily work with them.”

“Our accreditation (with CIS) comes with standards that we had to meet and those are standards you need to continue to deliver.”

“We must not only maintain expectations but also raise them as we strive to develop our student-athletes. students more.”

“There are always a lot of challenges, but also you will find lots of fun when you work with them as you find solutions to develop them and their skills.”

One of the student-athletes returning for his final year after a summer holiday packed with competitions and travelling is pole vaulter Seif Hemeida.

Hemeida’s holidays saw him win gold medals at the Asian Under-20 Athletics Championships, the Arab Athletics Championships and the Arab Games as well as competing at the Asian Champions.

The 18-year-old also raised his own Qatar record three times from 5.35m, which he set in February, to 5.40m to 5.50m and eventually to 5.51m.
Despite the busy schedule in recent weeks, he is confident that he will easily be able to get back into the routine of being back at school as he continues to balance his academic education with his athletics training.

“It's very easy to manage it (education and training) because Aspire Academy, do everything for you and they make your routine very easy to follow,” he explained.

“They help you to manage your day so we start the day in the school at 7am and then finish around 6.30pm, so we have very little time to think about anything else.”

Hemeida is aware of the importance of the academic side of his time at Aspire Academy.

“Aspire Academy has already taught me a lot of things, for example when I arrived my English was very bad and Aspire has helped me a lot in that area,” he explained.

“Maths is my favourite subject at school and I am thinking about studying business after I graduate from Aspire.” 

In athletics Hemeida’s next big challenge will be competing for Qatar at the Asian Games in China, which begin on 23 September.

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