Aspire’s 1st International Kite Festival has attracted more than 40,000 visitors in the last five days, providing them with an array of sports and entertainment spectacle at Aspire Park.
Richard Debray from France won the gold against his compatriot Roger Tessa-Gambassi in the individual category of the professional competition while Malaysian national Adam Ahmad bagged the bronze.
Andesky team from Colombia bested Ex-Grads team from the UK to win the gold in the pairs and teams category. Paire’Spire team from France took the bronze.
“The festival soared with success. Combining sports and entertainment, it provided real scope for members of the community to make the most of being outdoors and physically active,” said Kholoud al-Hail, CEO of Aspire Katara Hospitality and head of the Event’s Organising Committee.
Hundreds of kites soared through the skies of Aspire Park for five days. PICTURE: Allan Tan
More than 500 schools were invited to take part, including Tamakon Comprehensive School for children with special needs, according to organisers.
As part of the series of workshops held throughout the festival, experts from the Singapore Kite Association, one of the joint organisers, provided easy-to-follow explanations for visitors on kite aerodynamics. More than 15,000 kites were distributed to members of the public.
The festival is also set to become an annual event, further demonstrating Qatar’s capabilities and expertise in hosting major international sports and cultural activities.
“The hope is that talented Qatari youngsters who have discovered a love of kite flying during this year’s festival will be ready to compete in next year’s event,” al-Hail added.
A number of international kite associations, together with Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), will provide coaching support to help develop these youngsters.
“We are keen to co-operate with the various institutions in the country, and our role as a cultural partner in this festival comes within this framework, considering that Katara – the Cultural Village and Aspire Zone and Aspire-Katara Hospitality are working under one umbrella with common objectives,” said Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti in a statement.
He stressed that they fully support such initiatives to achieve its mission of extending bridges between peoples and enriching the cultural scene in Qatar.
The festival will be an entertainment and educational event for all segments of society of different ages and nationalities, according to Dr al-Sulaiti. “The families will find a real opportunity to spend agreeable times.”
Besides the professional competitions, the event also featured fun-filled activities, workshops, foodies, attractions and kite flying opportunities for all ages.
Supported and sponsored by Katara – Cultural Village, Qatar Airways, Ooredoo, Nikon and Kiddy Zone, members of the public had the chance to enter creative competitions to win various prizes.
More than 2,500 people took part in the photography competition, running on Instagram using the hashtag #AspireKitePhoto.
A panel of judges including representatives from the Qatar Photographic Society at Katara selected four winners who were awarded Qatar Airways flights and Nikon cameras.
At least 10 of the hundreds of young participants won giveaways in the poster-making contest.
In the inter-school competition, Muaz bin Jabal School bagged the QR30,000 top prize, besting second-place winner Gheras International School (QR20,000) and third-placer Birla School (QR10,000).
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