05 Mar 2023
Aspire Academy are making their final decision on which youngsters will be offered scholarships in athletics to start in September.
The final choices are being made over the next few weeks following several months identifying those with the potential to develop into future elite athletes.
The process for athletics (track and field), which is spread over several months, involves three phases, Bronze Camp, Silver Camp and Gold Camp.
The initial Bronze Camp sees Aspire Academy’s Talent Identification Department visit local schools around Qatar to conduct a series of assessments for more than 1,000 grade 6 students (aged 10 to 11).
On these visits the team will record information on things like anthropometry (height, sitting height, leg length, body mass), relative age, maturation status, sprinting speed as well as lower and upper body power.
Once these results have been collated and analysed the top performers are invited to the Silver Camp.
Aspire Academy also works closely with the Qatar Athletics Federation and their clubs, who can nominate eligible athletes that are already involved in athletics to join the Silver Camp.
Those included in the Silver Camp undergo further physical testing on site at Aspire Academy with the athletics coaches.
As well as validating the data collected during the Bronze Camp this step enables the team to assess the individual’s aptitude for athletics and their ‘coachability’ (i.e., their ability to learn new skills by listening to and applying feedback from coaches, and their behaviour within the sessions).
Once the top performing boys at the Silver Camp have been identified they will be invited to join the Gold Camp, which is the Pre-Academy Athletics programme.
This year a total of 24 boys took part in the final phase, which included up to 3 sessions per week over several weeks on-site at Aspire Academy with our coaching team.
The culmination of the Gold Camp was a series of competitive athletics, a 50m sprint, long jump and throwing a cricket ball.
Athletics Development Lead Martin Brockman watched the final 24 boys in action events on Tuesday 28 February at the final event of the Gold Camp.
“We want to find the ones that are technically the best, physically the best and the ones that are loving athletics,” he explained.
“We do bone scans and testosterone levels to check their maturation so that we are not just picking the biggest strongest kids.”
“We are looking more and more at the skill acquisition and their ability to learn because to be elite level it is not just physical but about the technical too.”
Parental support and engagement are also a key part the decision process for the Aspire Academy coaches.
The final selection will made by the coaches and around 12 will be selected in April/May at which point the parents will be invited to learn more about Aspire.
Once those meetings have been held it will be up to the parents to decide whether to accept a place for next September