24 Mar 2021
Aspire Academy conducted the final stage of the year-long assessment process from which new joiners to the world-renowned institution of youth sports development- are selected over two days, from 23 to 24th March 2021 at its premises. Known as Gold Camp and falling under the Talent Identification Programme, the assessment saw 40 young Qatar residents eager to join Academy undergo a range of set exercises, drills and challenges design to give coaches and staff a holistic picture of each athlete.
The Gold Camp represents the third step of Aspire Academy’s comprehensive talent scouting system which starts with over 4000 year 6 Qatari boys from all across the country seen and assessed by the team from Aspire Academy Talent Identification department during visits to government and Independent schools in the ‘Bronze Camp before the numbers are significantly whittled down in the second stage known as Silver Camp Testing. From the 40 boys that made it to Gold Camp and just under half of that number of the top performers will invited to join Aspire Academy for the new academic year in September 2021.
Since its establishment in 2004, Aspire Academy follows its vision to find and develop future champions for Qatar. The Academy does this by working with all local schools and their teachers to assess the sporting potential of all boys from 8 years of age. The teachers use equipment that Aspire Academy provides to measure children’s body shape, their speed, their power and strength and their ability to run distance. From 8 years onwards the Academy examines these same measures each year to track boys’ progress. Those boys that perform well are invited to join Aspire’s Multi-sport Skill Development program (MSSD), which is an after-school coaching program to help train their sporting skills. Due to the coronavirus pandemic that disrupted the world, one positive to come out of this was increased opportunities for Aspire coaches to see more of these boys during small group training sessions at Aspire that once sport was allowed to resume under
Speaking on the last day of Gold Camp, Ross Jeffs, Aspire Academy Sprint and hurdles coach explained some of the new things included in this year’s camp, “On day one we started with some coaching activities which gave us a chance to see what the boys are like in a coaching environment, their coach-ability and how they interact with each other and react to coaching cues. In day 2 we introduced competition environment for the first time in Gold Camp and had the boys compete in throws, 60m sprint, long jump, and endurance. This will enable us to compare them with our current Development 1 and 2 student- athletes and see how they fare and collecting such details and information is part of the progress necessary to coaching and development”.
Adel Mouelhi, Aspire Academy senior multi-events coach was keen to emphasize how in a difficult year with the pandemic , the Talent Identification Programme did remarkably well to bring the best 40 boys to Gold Camp and each boys who reached this stage would for the first time be kept in the system and monitored over the years, “ Although we will choose the best 12 to 15 boys from this lot we have purposed to look beyond just the selected. For the boys who are not chosen this time round and for those who would like to stay in sport and continue doing athletics, definitely we want to start a part time programme run and managed in-house by Aspire here at the Academy to ensure we keep them doing sport whatever sport that is, this however depends very much on this pandemic but if we can do it would be for the good of sport in this country in general. Who knows maybe these boys who didn’t make the grade this time will get better than the boys we choose therefore we want to work with them and keep an eye on them for it is possible that in year 8 9, or 10 we could invite them back to join Aspire Academy. Starting this part time programme however depends very much on this pandemic but this what we would like to do and it will be for the good of sport in this country if we can make it happen, ” said coach Adel Mouelhi