Search for Tomorrow’s Champions Begins in Qatar
ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha, is close to completing the first phase of its annual Talent Identification Program, the nation-wide initiative that works with schools in Qatar to find exceptional student athletes.
Successful participants who display exceptional physical talent and sporting potential could be offered a scholarship to ASPIRE, providing them with access to some of the most advanced facilities and tuition available anywhere in the world.
The rigorous selection process consists of three levels (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), and is one of the most advanced and open programs of its kind to test children’s athletic potential anywhere in the world.
The Talent Identification Bronze phase is now well under way with children across Qatar taking the opportunity to compete for a chance to join the elite academy.
Working closely with the Department of Physical Education at the Ministry of Education, coaches at ASPIRE have devised an advanced testing programme which examines the physical, emotional and intellectual readiness of the children.
In 2004, 8,000 children participated in the program with 6,000 in 2005. For 2006, approximately 6,000 boys and 2,500 girls will be tested.
Phase one – “ASPIRE Bronze” – tests 6th and 7th grade boys and 6th grade girls in all public schools as well as in independent and some private schools. The program tests for body-shape and physical characteristics, so that assessors can understand the students’ general level of fitness and athletic potential.
The second phase – “ASPIRE Silver” – will see around ten percent of the successful athletes from the “ASPIRE Bronze” stage being invited for more detailed testing. These students, along with selected athletes from Qatar’s Sports Federations, will be examined across a range of physical and practical tests that measure a set of performance characteristics to identify sporting potential.
Dr. Andreas Bleicher, ASPIRE’s sports manager said, “The Talent Identification Program has been one of the defining features of ASPIRE, offering a major opportunity for young student athletes of all nationalities across Qatar.
“The previous two years of selection programs have enabled us to select student athletes with a range of interests and disciplines. We are hopeful that the 2006 program will discover a similarly broad range of disciplines and ability. Already, the Bronze phase has shown us some very encouraging results.”
A major part of the focus of the Talent Identification program is to discover student athletes who have the potential to become professional sportspeople in the future.
However, the program has also been an effective method of encouraging children of all abilities to become more involved in sport and physical exercise.
Children who came close to the Silver and Gold phases in previous years will have another opportunity to prove their ability in 2006, and plans are in place to include younger and older children in the Talent Identification Program in the future.
ASPIRE will also continue to grow and as the number of student athletes increases. Key to this growth is the expanding support network around the children, which includes coaching, sport sciences, education, social affairs and medical staff.
ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence, is a world-class facility that aims to identify, educate and train world-class athletes to compete in professional sports at the highest levels. ASPIRE provides exceptional facilities, including full educational and recreational facilities, advanced dormitories, an amphitheatre, lecture halls, seven outdoor football training fields, and state-of-the-art weight rooms and physiotherapy. The Academy is distinguished by a philosophy which aims to develop the whole student, providing them with full academic and sports development so that they have the widest possible range of opportunities in adult life. ASPIRE TODAY, INSPIRE TOMORROW.
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