Doha, 11 March 2018. Aspire Academy hosted an interactive session between its student-athletes and visiting Ivy League Columbia University athletes on Sunday morning. The session took place on the sidelines of the latter’s training camp at Aspire Academy, which runs until 18 March. Organised in conjunction with the Embassy of Qatar in, Washington, USA the training camp aims to provide the visiting students with a rich cultural, educational and sporting experience.
The session focused on the challenges and benefits of being a student-athlete in Aspire Academy, the services and programme that the Academy offers, as well as the successes of some of the Academy’s most notable graduates. Students and Alumni from each side then took part in Q&A sessions where they spoke about their cultural experiences and their sporting and academic ambitions.
Speaking about the exchange programme, Mr. Hisham ElKostaf, Senior Legal Advisor at the Embassy of Qatar in Washington D.C and a Columbia University Alumni as well as former football (soccer) player at the university, said: “We opted to run this programme with Aspire Academy based on its renowned status in sports development, and the ambition to create a dialogue between students taking part in the university exchange programme and encourage a spirit of mutual respect. We hope this experience exposes them to the hospitality that Qatar is known for and gives them exposure to the country’s values and rich traditions. The programme also helps them learn from the experience of their peers in Aspire Academy, to understand the challenges and opportunities available to its graduates, and appreciate the inter-personal skills they develop from engaging in sports which helps make them better global citizens.”
Columbia University striker, Arthur Bosua, who was named “Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year” for the second consecutive season, added: “I’m very impressed with Aspire’s resources and facilities, and how well the students conducted themselves. I’m very happy to be here and grateful for the opportunity and the cultural experience.”
Commenting on the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, he said: “At the moment, I’m focusing on advancing my football (soccer) career and hopefully making it as a professional player. Playing at the FIFA World Cup is every young footballer’s dream. Hopefully that’s something I can achieve in the next four years leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and by being here in Qatar l couldn’t think of any better motivation to do my best and put myself up for selection for my country”, concluded the striker who scored 12 goals to lead the conference goal scoring charts.
Aspire Academy Director of Education and Student Affairs, Mr. Badr Al Hay commenting on the event said Aspire student-athletes who were involved in the interactive session said, “We brought grades 11 and 12 students who are on the verge of graduating from Aspire and at this stage stand to benefit the most from exchanges with Columbia University students some of whom are also coming to the end of their student days. You could tell from the questions that went back and forth between the two sets of students that it was a helpful and worth interaction with mutual benefits for all participants.”
Columbia University Soccer team will take on Aspire Academy U18, Qatar U19/U23 national team and Al Sadd FC B team during their stay in Qatar which runs from 9- 18 March 2018.