Speakers at the Youth Athletics Coaching Congress. (Right) A session in progress.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

The second edition of the Aspire Academy “Youth Athletics Coaching Congress”, organised in cooperation with the Qatar Athletic Federation (QAF) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), drew to close yesterday. A number of elite athletics coaches from local and international clubs and federations took part in the congress alongside Aspire Academy coaches.
During the event, speakers and attendees took part in a number of discussions around innovative ideas and recommendations related to the development of athletics. This was in addition to a number of presentations around specialised technical scientific information and methodologies related to athletics training.
The congress included a number of technical and practical breakout sessions covering topics including physical capability, nutrition and training theories for sports including sprinting, hurdling, endurance, jumping and throwing. These were designed to provide coaches with new tools to help strengthen athletes’ performance.  
Furthermore, the congress highlighted the latest thinking and best practice on methods for developing athletes’ talent and presented recommendations on how to help young people to achieve optimum performance and get the most from their training regimes.  
Commenting on the success of the congress, Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, said: “The Youth Athletics Coaching Congress is the ideal platform for coaches and those involved in athletics to hear a range of recommendations, ideas and suggestions from local and international athletics experts. The event fits perfectly with Aspire Academy’s role and mission in supporting and developing future generations of sporting champions.”
Bravo added: “We look at sport not only as a practice, but also as a science. Such events and the discussion that follows them help to enrich the knowledge of coaches. Given coaches’ roles as the foundation for building future sports champions, this of course directly benefits the athletes themselves.”
At the event, a number of participants highlighted their gratitude for the opportunities presented by Aspire Academy in organising the congress and for the role of the event in elevating standards in athletics.
Salah al-Deen Shabouh, Head U18 Coach at QAF, said: “Sport has become a science. And since science evolves every day, all that is new in science can contribute to the development of sport. Aspire Academy’s continued efforts in hosting such events is great, especially for coaching staff at clubs and federations. It helps to introduce them to the latest in scientific thinking and techniques and enables them to incorporate these findings into their training strategies. This in turn enables coaches to develop the best training methods and techniques to prepare for competitions. We would like to thank Aspire Academy for hosting this congress for the second year, and look forward to next year’s edition”.
Dr Ekkart Arbeit, Longtime athletics coach and lecturer from the IAAF said: “I first visited Qatar eight years ago. The development that has taken place in the country since then is astonishing, especially in terms of its sporting capabilities. This congress is just one such example, and the feedback that I’ve had from coaches about the event has been overwhelmingly positive. What the Academy has achieved in organising this congress is highly commendable as it is particularly important that relatively new coaches in the world of athletics get the opportunity to meet more established figures to benefit from their experience and insights. This all contributes to the development of athletics worldwide as well as at a more local level, especially ahead of the 2019 IAAF World Championships that will take place here.”
The Youth Athletics Coaching Congress was launched in 2014 by Aspire Academy in cooperation with QAF, as one of the Academy’s initiatives designed to develop sport in general and athletics in particular.