25 Nov 2020
Doha. Aspire Academy Cross country run returns to Aspire Park on Friday 27 November with best youth runners under the age of 20 in the country out to impress. The 4th edition of this ever-growing cross-country event will feature student-athletes from the host, Aspire Academy along with runners from local sports clubs, Al Ahli, Al Sadd, Qatar SC, Al Shamal ,Doha Athletics club and Sherborne School. This year’s event is by invitation and will see around 68 runners from local sports clubs including just over half a dozen female athletes take part.
Aspire Academy Director of Sport and Strategy, Markus Egger expressed his delight that in the current difficult times of a global pandemic Aspire has been able to hold this event on the back of some impressive training work done during the lockdown. “A big part of the work we do with our athletes apart from training is to get them involved in competition and Aspire Academy cross country offers them that chance. During this pandemic situation, athletes, coaches and staff have done an excellent job training and keeping fit from home and it is fantastic that now what they need to add to all this work is competition and, this event, provides the right platform for that. The weather around this time is wonderful for running and in our lovely Aspire Park, it is all set for a beautiful event, ” said Markus Egger.
Cross-country running is one of the disciplines that comes under the umbrella of Aspire Sports Progamme and all 18 Aspire student-athletes involved will be participating. The Aspire Cross country will be split into two races; Mini-Cadet and Cadet will be first at 8:00am and will be followed 15 minutes later by the Youth and Junior race. The Mini-Cadets’ race is 2 kilometres long while Cadets will run 3km and 4km for Youth and Junior runners.
Speaking ahead of the cross-country race, Aspire Academy Head of Athletics, Tom Crick underscored the importance of the event, “Getting back into competitive scenarios is especially important this year, as almost all national and international competitions were cancelled during the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The timing of this cross-country series is also a response to calls from the Clubs for an opportunity to see our boys in action ahead of the National Cross-Country Championships, organized by Qatar Athletics Federation and tentatively scheduled for next January. By opening the event, to club athletes, team managers can compare their best runners to our student athletes. Not only will this make for excellent races, but it will also ensure the Clubs know each athlete’s current form, so they select the strongest possible team for January’s big race.”
Names to look out for in the Youth race include student -athletes, Ayman Shani and Mohammed Al Yafaee while in the Junior race, Housem Hrabi, Omar ElFadl and Abdalla ElKhair will be among the Aspire student -athletes to lead the charge for medals. Ahmed Ibrahim at 12 is the youngest Aspire student-athlete taking part in the mini cadet category.