Doha, 7 November. The 4th ASIA Congress offered a lot of highlights for the participants coming from high performance sports institutes from all over the world. The setting at Aspire Academy and the content that has been discussed clearly impressed the delegates that expressed their positive feedback at the end of the event.
Dr Duncan Simpson, Head of Mental Conditioning at IMG Academy, said: "This event has been fantastic. The ability to collaborate with people from all over the world, mostly from the Asia region is something that I have not had the opportunity to do. So, the ability to learn and collaborate and hopefully to share a bit about what we are doing at IMG has just been a fantastic experience. It’s my second time at the Academy, I came about five years ago, so a lot has still changed over time. It’s fantastic to be back, there’s always a warm welcome and it’s amazing to see what people are doing here. I really appreciate the philosophy that is trying to really help grow a nation and support the athletes. It’s obviously very different to everywhere else I have been, and I think the ability to support your young athletes is a noble thing Aspire is trying to do."
Prof John Newell, Professor of Biostatistics and Head of Statistics of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), said: "I’m very impressed. It’s great to meet different people from different cultures, all with the same challenges and problems. My own interest is in data and data universal and does not matter where it comes from. It’s the same ide. Can we use data to make informed decisions? Can we help athletes? Can we prolong their careers? My answer to these questions is “Yes, we can.” The issue here is not about having lots of data, it’s how you use the data. So, if you approach this as a scientist with good questions and you have the right data, nothing’s impossible. I think it’s important to collaborate on any level. Youth sport is universal, and we can all learn from each other. Smaller countries have similar challenges that they can share and countries with more funding can help as well in organizing events like this. I think Aspire Academy is an amazing place to visit. I really like the ethos here, where a lot of the ethos is about that it’s not just about elite sport, it’s about how you use this in public health. If you want to get a country to be more active, the best way to become more active is to have sports people that you can admire and aspire to be."
Dr Stafford Murray, Head of Innovation and Research Advisory Group Chair of High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), said: "I have been to Qatar before and each time l come here l find that there has been another investment into sport development in the country. It is a place that embraces innovation. The 4th ASIA congress has been fantastic, well organized and l enjoyed the line-up of top international presenters whose subjects were captivating."
Dr Paul Hurrion , Founder of QUINTIC, said: "It’s my first time here in Qatar and what a fantastic reception it has been for me. This place you have here, Aspire Academy is just phenomenal and really a world class facility fit for Olympians and elite sport athletes. The very fortunate students’ athletes training at Aspire are exceptionally privileged and it’s easy to see why Qatar as a national is doing well in sport- they make absolute preparation in sport development"
Mr Toh Boon Yi, Vice President of ASIA and Chief of the Singapore Sports Institute SportSG. said: " This ASIA Congress has completed a full circle with our fourth and final founding member Aspire Academy hosting our 4th Congress. What an ideal and appropriate set up Aspire Academy is. Everyone at the congress is also excited to be in Qatar where major sporting events like the just ended IAAF World Championships have taken place. We also saw and admired Qatar’s victory in the Asia Cup and for a small nation like Qatar we in Singapore were encouraged tremendously. Just like Qatar in Singapore we are working on youth sport development with a focus on selected sports that we have identified as ones we can do well at."