Qatar vying for a win at International Kite Fest
January 26 2018 09:03 PM
Renowned Singaporean trainer Gadis Widiyati Riyadi teaches participants basic kite-making at a works
Renowned Singaporean trainer Gadis Widiyati Riyadi teaches participants basic kite-making at a workshop. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar

A newly-formed Qatari team will be competing against the best kite flyers from more than 20 countries at the second Aspire International Kite Festival, scheduled to take place from March 6 to 9 at Aspire Park.

“We hope to win,” team captain Saoud al-Mohannadi told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a kite flying workshop at Aspire Zone’s Ladies’ Club on Friday.
As first time participants, he said the team trains hard as they prepare for the competition, which features a range of individual and team events such as synchronised kite performances and kite flying art displays.
The team captain added that coaches from Italy and Singapore have been helping them in their training and “in our objectives and focus on what we can do in terms of planning and strategy.”
“It is going to be a tough competition because there are very strong teams from various countries in Europe, Asia, and other regions, including Italy, France, and Singapore,” he noted.
With eight players board, al-Mohannadi said they are still looking for talented and dynamic Qatari kite flyers “who can add value to the team,” which plans to have a total of 12 to 14 members.

Saoud al-Mohannadi at a kite flying workshop at Aspire Zone

To win this competition, he stressed that it will require “team dynamics” and good communication between the players.
“Kite flying is fun and it has a principle of strategy and collaboration,” the team captain noted. “It is not hard or not easy but it involves a lot of calculations.”
“Since the Qatar team is participating for the first time, we try to learn, explore and understand exactly the sport and all the element of it,” he added.
Competing teams this year will be flying kites of various sizes, colours and designs for four days at Aspire Park, which is expected to attract a large number of residents and visitors.
It is learnt that 10 of the 13 teams who participated last year will return in Doha this year to compete again in the event.
The festival, organised by Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), will also feature inter-school competitions for students in grades 1 to 6.
According to AZF, a maximum of 10 students per team will have the opportunity to design and decorate and fly their own kites during the event.
In addition, the organisers also held a three-day workshop for 60 teachers in November lasts year in the run up to this year’s inter-schools competitions.
AZF said the team champion will get QR50,000 in cash while the second-place winner will take home QR30,000. QR10,000 will be given to the third-place winner.

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