Delegates shared knowledge and expertise besides also taking part in a friendly football match.

By Sports Reporter/Doha


Aspire Academy has hailed the success of the ‘Aspire in the World Fellows Gathering’ which concluded on Thursday, December 17. The two-day event brought together a group of world leading coaching and football experts to share best practice and expertise, develop recommendations for training methodologies and support the management of young players.
The group of leading experts that travelled to Qatar represent several of the world’s best clubs, federations and leagues, including Real Madrid, Juventus, Everton and many more. They belong to the Aspire in the World Fellows programme which brings together 50 of the world’s most important clubs, federations and leagues to support the development of elite youth football players through sharing knowledge and expertise, experience, applied practice and research in football performance and science.
The Fellows Gathering explored in greater detail a number of the key topics that were covered during the Aspire Academy Global Summit held in Berlin in October. This exclusive annual event is an integral part of the Aspire in the World Fellows programme. These topics included training plan strategies, match and training recovery, integrated training methodology, and preventing soft tissue injuries.
During the gathering, participants shared and examined the training methods and approaches they adopt to nurture football talent and explored ways in which training methodologies and strategies can be improved to support young elite footballers, to develop their talent and enhance their performance.
The event comprised a number of workshops, discussions and training sessions including a presentation by prominent sports psychologist Dr. Gloria Balague that explored the effects of psychology on athletic performance. Dr. Donna O’Connor, an expert in optimising performance from the University of Sydney in Australia, also gave a lecture that showcased methods of developing learning opportunities for players. Moreover, an open discussion session between the visiting experts and the Academy’s student-athletes gave students the opportunity to share their experiences of training and competing at the Academy.
 The event concluded with a friendly football match between the experts, which was played in the Aspire Dome.  
During their stay in Qatar, the visiting Fellows were also taken on a tour of Aspire Academy’s facilities. They visited Doha’s best-known tourist attractions and important landmarks, learning about Qatari history and culture.
Commenting on the two-days, Professor Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science department at Aspire Academy, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed Aspire Academy’s Fellows from all around the world back to Qatar, including from Europe, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere. All the sessions were insightful and thought-provoking and we’re confident participants will benefit from fresh thinking and innovation in relation to developing their training methodologies. Through this programme and the involvement of our Fellows, we hope to collectively make significant progress towards the broader development of the game”.
Dr Gloria Balague said: “The level of sophistication we have experienced here, whether in terms of the Aspire Academy facilities or the sessions of the symposium, is unprecedented and unlike anything I have experienced before. The open-discussion format that the sessions were based upon really helped facilitate rich and valuable discussions between presenters and participants. I have really enjoyed my first trip to Doha, and look forward to returning in the future”.
Dr Paolo Noga from Porto FC said: “I was really happy with my trip to Doha, and Aspire Academy specifically, which has exceeded all expectations. I have visited many sports facilities around the world but I have never seen something as spectacular as Aspire Academy, which embodies the vision of an entire nation and not just a specific club or team. The sessions we participated in were great. Since the Fellows are from very different parts of the world and cultures, we’re each able to share a wide variety of knowledge and expertise that will help enrich the development of enhanced training and coaching techniques”.
Aspire Academy first opened its doors in 2004 and is considered to be one of the leading sports institutes in the Middle East. The Academy offers an integrated educational programme of sports development, sports science and academic learning to boys aged 12 to 18. The school develops well-educated sports champions and aims to become the world’s leading sports academy for young athletes by 2020.

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