Doha, 15 March 2017. The conveyer belt that churns the sporting talent available in Qatar with its various stringent, year-long selection stages enters the home straight phase with “Gold Camp” the final stage in a qualifications scheme for students to join the world renowned Aspire Academy.
Around spire 130 promising young Qatari athletes have made it to the prestigious final selection stage “Gold Camp” that runs over two days. ‘Gold Camp” is the final stage in a qualifications scheme for students to join the Academy’s comprehensive talent development programme that combines sports and academic learning.
The Academy’s officials welcomed on Wednesday morning about 100 qualified students in the Aspire Dome, where they were congratulated for reaching this stage and being invited to this two-day-long event. The session introduced the students to the training programme they will be undergoing and instructed them on how to best benefit from the Academy’s facilities during the camp. Another 30 qualified students will be in action on Thursday 16th March at the same venue. “We have double the number of student we had at this stage last year and while it’s too early to say much about them, one thing for sure is that the standard of competitiveness is higher this year than last year”, said Aspire Academy Head of National Talent Identification, Andrew Douglas
During the welcoming ceremony, the Academy shared inspirational stories about some of Aspire Academy’s star graduates, including Olympic high-jumper Mutaz Barshim and squash champion Abdullah Al-Tamimi and the students also heard advice and tips on how to take advantage of all the opportunities the camp has to offer, calling on the participants to have fun during the competition, work hard and respect and support one another.
Each year Aspire Academy’s talent identification process involves over 3,000 boys of 11 years of age from all across Qatar. Being one of the final boys still being tested at “Gold Camp” is already proof of the boys’ sporting talent. Upon joining the Gold Camp, each participant was placed into a respective sport section for which they are most qualified, including squash, throwing, fencing, table tennis, gymnastics, athletics and multi-sports. Following a series of different screening processes, the Academy chooses a select number of students to join the Academy on a scholarship basis at the conclusion of the camp.
The camp contributes directly towards Aspire Academy’s mission of identifying promising sporting talents and turning them into well-educated sports champions, as well as its efforts to promote a sports culture in Qatar and the region.