16 Jun 2023

Aspire Academy honoured its class of 2023 at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening as the academic year drew to a close.

A record total of 54 student-athletes became the 16th set of graduates from Aspire Academy.

The ceremony took place at the iconic Aspire dome with His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, the Honorary President of the Qatar Football Association, as the guest of honour.

Other invitees included representatives from different sports federations as well as from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Tariq Abdulaziz Al-Naama the Vice President -of the Aspire Zone Foundation, and Dr. Abdulaziz Al Kuwari the CEO of Aspetar also attended along with other dignitaries, teachers, coaching staff as well as the parents and friends of the student-athletes. 

After a recital from the Quran by graduate Younis Mohamed Bala the Academy’s Deputy Director General Ali Salem Afifa spoke on behalf of the Director General.

Mr. Afifa stressed the pivotal role that Aspire has played in the development of sport in Qatar since the Academy opened its doors.

"Since our opening in 2004, the Academy can boast many achievements and has provided a lot of talent and stars to national teams in the various sports that the Academy has in its program,” he said.

“We can achieve even more and enjoy further success in various sports with the possibility of adding other sports to those we currently offer." 

“As important are those graduates who have distinguished themselves academically and educationally and have risen in various fields of work such as medicine, aviation, engineering and others.”

Aspire Academy Director of Education and Student Affairs, Badr Al-Hay thanked the guest of honour for his support over the years and hailed the sports federations for their part in developing the student-athletes. 

He also highlighted the balance that the Academy achieves between academic and sporting development.

“Over the years we have developed a curriculum that works for our student-athletes, we have worked to understand and implement measures so they can thrive in the classroom and the sporting arena,” he explained.

“We also prepare them for life after the Academy and things like our Leadership Development Programme will help them deal with problems in all aspects of their lives and put them in a position to help others too.”

“While we wanted to be recognised as a world-class sports academy, we were also determined that the academic side of Aspire was also recognised and endorsed internationally.” 

“Our recent re-accreditation by the Council for International Schools proves that we are fulfilling our goal.” 

“Please never forget that you will always be welcome back at Aspire Academy, please keep in touch and let us share in your successes. We are also here if you need support in the future.”

Footballer Saeed Jabir Afifa spoke on behalf of the graduating student-athletes as he offered their gratitude to everyone involved in their time at Aspire Academy. 

“We will always refer to the hard work done here at Aspire Academy that has inspired, guided and prepared us for the future,” he said.

“We are ready for the future. We must also remember that this is just the start and there is a lot of hard work ahead of us if we are to fulfil our dreams.”

“Aspire will always be our second home and we will keep in touch. We must also thank our nation for giving us this opportunity to represent them and we are grateful for all your support.:

This year the Academy is celebrating graduates across nine sports disciplines – football (23) football referees (2), athletics (18), table tennis (3), squash (2), fencing (1), swimming (2), shooting (2) and motorsport (1).

This year’s graduates brings the total of student-athletes to have graduated from Aspire Academy since it launched in 2004 to 594.

These graduates can now look forward to furthering their sporting and academic careers and following in the footsteps of Aspire Academy’s list of illustrious alumni.

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