The Doha Golf Club premises, once the exclusive preserve of golfers, will soon be a hotbed of a wide range of community sports activity, including football, cricket, rugby and baseball, it was announced yesterday.
The move to utilise the club’s vast expanses of surplus space for purposes other than golf was in the pipeline for quite some time now, with officials finally deciding to go for a project that will encourage nationals and expatriates, especially children, to develop their skills in a variety of sports.
The Doha Sports Park is a result of that plan and would play a major role in developing community sports in Qatar, Doha Golf Club’s Sports Director David Moreland told journalists at a press conference yesterday.
“For a long time it was felt that Qatar needed a sports facility that could cater to a whole range of sporting activities. The Doha Sports Park seeks to do exactly that,” Moreland said.
The facility has four full-size pitches for football, rugby, cricket and baseball, a campsite area, a mountain bike track and several smaller arenas for five-a-side and seven-a-side formats that can be booked online by clubs, companies and individuals for a nominal fee. Yearly memberships are also in the works.
“Once we have the clubhouse for the Doha Sports Park ready, which hopefully will come up by the end of this year, we will think of launching memberships. The only place similar now is the Doha Rugby Football Club,” added Moreland.
According to Moreland, yearly memberships would cost between QR1,500 and 2,000. “It is quite reasonable, although the Doha Golf Club membership is more expensive,” he said.
As of now, bookings have already started. The Qatar Community Football League (QCFL), an initiative of the Supreme Committee, has booked 15 hours a week for nine months, while others have reserved spaces for smaller durations.
Moreland said a pitch can be booked for QR650 per hour during peak hours and QR550 per hour during non-peak hours. Based on the number of hours booked, discounts can be also availed of.
The Doha Sports Park will also house the Doha Pearl Academy, the first Qatar football Association recognised football academy in Qatar.
Expert training by UEFA certified coaches would be provided to kids starting from the age of three, with the aim of equipping them with the skills to possibly make a career in football, said Ciaran Kelly, the head coach at Doha Pearl Academy.
“A robust structure with highly experienced staff will ensure your child’s development is in line with the highest recognised standard,” Kelly said.
The academy has the support of a huge network of professional sportsmen, clubs and establishments in the UK and Ireland.
Doha Golf Club General Manager Gary McGlinchey said that the facilities can also be used for non-sporting activities like marriages, receptions, embassy and corporate get-togethers.
“Hotels usually cannot host more than 1000 people at a time but at the Doha Sports Park we have space for many more. We have the land, the parking and the catering, so you don’t have to go anywhere else for your events,” said McGlinchey.
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