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Aspire Academy honours 41 student-athletes at 12th graduation ceremony

Aspire Academy honours 41 student-athletes at 12th graduation ceremony

Tribune News Network
Doha
Aspire Academy on Tuesday honoured 41 student-athletes at its 12th graduation ceremony.
The ceremony marked another milestone in Aspire’s 15-year journey to develop the young talents, which forms the cornerstone of Qatar’s national teams and clubs.
The student-athletes graduated in nine sport disciplines including athletics, fencing, football, soccer, squash, table tennis, archery, golf and gymnastics.
The ceremony was attended by senior representatives from Aspire Academy, including Ali Salem Afifa, deputy director-general of Aspire Academy, and Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman al Kuwari, second vice-president of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and president of Qatar Athletics Association, as well as a number of senior officials from Aspire Zone Foundation, teachers and coaches from the Academy.
Kuwari said, “Every year, Aspire Academy astonishes us with all its sports. There is real creativity in the Academy’s output and the refinement of its champions. Aspire Academy graduates and athletes will participate in many international events, including the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019. I wish them tremendous success with the next steps.”
Afifa urged the graduating students to continue to seek excellence in all they do in life after Aspire.
He said, “You join many other distinguished graduates from this great institution and we would like you to remain focused, hardworking and model citizens that your families and country will be proud of. Maintain the values, sense of purpose and the excellence that you have learnt during your time at Aspire.”
The celebration started with Qur’an recitations by student-athlete Salem Jamaani followed by remarks from fellow graduating students Abdulrahman al Dehaimi and Saleh Bashraheel, who summed up studying at Aspire on behalf of graduating students saying: “We are pleased to be standing in front of you this evening to deliver this speech. We are here to recall moments with our beloved teachers and coaches.
“Over these last years, through dedication and hard work, we reached our goals and made unforgettable memories. At Aspire Academy, we learned how to aspire, how to work towards astonishing achievements, both on our academic path and in our chosen sports career. This is how we achieve our dreams.”
The 2018/2019 Class included 14 graduates in football, 10 in athletics, four in football refereeing, three in fencing, three in gymnastics, three in golf, three in squash, one in table tennis and one in shooting.
Commenting on the graduation, Badr al Hay, director of Education and Student Affairs at Aspire Academy, said: “Today, with immense pride, we reap the fruits of our planting. I refer here to Aspire Academy’s philosophy of bringing up generations of distinguished athletes who build on an educational foundation that modifies behaviour and builds a healthy personality to succeed, while considering the individual psychological, cognitive and skill-based needs of our students.”
Jassem al Jaber, school principal at Aspire Academy, said: “Our eyes today look to the future. We are confident that our students will not let us down and will rise to life’s challenges. We have worked from the beginning to attain high achievement in education and sports in addition to nurturing the leadership skills of the student-athletes, who believe in God and belong to the homeland.”
2019 is a year that Qatar will always remember. Not only does it mark the very first time in the history of the AFC Asian Cup that Qatar has won the tournament, but it is also the first time that the Qatar national football team has progressed beyond the quarter-finals in any AFC Asian Cup football tournament.
What makes Aspire Academy particularly proud is that 70 percent of the national squad achieved their success after completing the football programme at Aspire Academy. Nine of its graduates played against Japan in the final. One of them, Almoez Ali, received two awards for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and the top goal scorer. Fellow Aspire graduate Saad al Sheeb was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper and Akram Afif achieved the most accurate passes throughout the tournament.
Prominent success stories across various sports include the likes of Mutaz Essa Barshim – high jumper, 2009 graduate; Ashraf El-Seify – hammer thrower, 2014 graduate; Ahmed BedirMagour – javelin thrower, 2015 graduate; Fahad Ali Shnain Al Abdulrahman – footballer, 2014 graduate; and Abdullah Al Tamimi – Squash player, 2012 graduate.

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