14 Feb 2023
Several hundred people of all ages took part in activities at the Aspire Academy as part of the celebrations for Qatar’s 12th National Sport Day (NSD).
The events were all designed to reflect the aims of NSD, which was started in 2012, to promote a healthy lifestyle and create awareness about fitness among the people in Qatar.
As well as a football tournament featuring players born in 2014 from 11 local teams there were also several activities held in the Aspire Dome.
The events at the academy were attended by Mohammed Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Zone Foundation. Mr. Al-Suwaidi pointed out the key role that the foundation and the academy play in Qatari sporting culture.
“Aspire Zone Foundation and its world-class facilities are seen as one of the pillars of the sports sector in Qatar,” he said.
“We offer not only cutting-edge, modern, international standard facilities such as laboratories and hospitals but also other areas like Aspire Park, the outdoor pitches as well as the walking, jogging and cycling paths.
“We were the first to offer these amenities in Qatar and to give everyone access to a sporting lifestyle and not just those training to be elite athletes.”
One of the other high-profile visitors to the witness the NSD activities organised by Aspire Academy was the new coach of the Qatar national football team, Carlos Queiroz.
The former Egypt and Iran coach was impressed with what was on offer.
“This is wonderful. The atmosphere, the enthusiasm and the happiness you can see is something only sport can do,” Queiroz said.
“These kinds of events are exactly we need I hope one day it will be every day - or at least one or two hours per day this will help people to grow up healthy.”
“It’s crucial (Aspire Academy organises such events) because all over the world academies are the role models for other institutions, schools, clubs, companies.”
“They should also organize things for people, in order to create generations who are more healthy and more happy, with a better standard of life.”
Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance and Science at Aspire Academy hailed Qatar for introducing NSD.
“Qatar has shown great vision in having a National Sport Day, because sport is a key aspect of life not only to keep fit physically but also fit mentally,” he explained.
“Sport teaches you to be competitive, to be consistent, to respect norms and these are all things that help kids be better people in life – not just in sport. This day allows people to get to know sport and maybe they will start a new journey in life.”
The football tournament, which was hosted on two of our outside pitches, was eventually won by Al Ahli as they beat Muaither 2-1 in the final.
Aspire Academy would like to thank the other clubs who took part – Al- Gharafa, Al -Shamal, Mesaimeer, Al- Arabi, Al-Duhail, Umm Salal, Kharaitiyat, Qatar Sports Club and Sailiya
The indoor football pitch hosted a series of exercises to “Test Yourself”, as the volleyball hall held several “Team Building” activities, while the gymnastics hall and one of the multi-purpose halls also hosted events.
All 387 of those who took part in the “Test Yourself” events, which included skipping, dribbling a football, a timed sprint as well as vertical and horizontal jumps, were awarded a certificate.
The “Team Building” area welcomed 201 visitors as they enjoyed some alternative ways to get some exercise such as the use of virtual reality headsets and an inflatable jousting area
Another hall was dedicated to testing the gymnastic skills of 120 visitors as they practiced things such as balance, rope climbing, and using the climbing wall.
There was also an area that saw 234 participants try out badminton and basketball while other activities were designed to test their throwing accuracy and their agility over an obstacle course.
As well as the events organised and hosted at the academy the Aspire Zone Foundation also organised events at both Aspire Park and for the first time at Al Bayt Stadium park.