By Sports Reporter Doha
Every child remembers their first sporting hero. They hold a place in hearts that last a lifetime with memories of success and triumph or even the heartbreak that can often so happen in sport.
Those iconic moments from sporting stars that are shown around the world are often replicated in school playgrounds and parks by children hoping to follow in their footsteps of their idol, with love of sport echoed throughout Doha College, the International high performance learning school which sees over 2,000 pupils take part in two hours or more physical education per week.
The reminder of sporting achievements is set in stone at Doha College for all its aspiring sports stars to see as they enter one of the sports halls, with former pupil and Team Qatar’s swimming sensation, Nada Arakji, honoured for her sporting success with a plaque greeting everybody on arrival. The former two-time Olympian set the high standards which many youngsters are looking to emulate with pupils achieving sporting success which has even seen scholarships achieved in the USA.
From the Western world through to the Far East, Doha College has witnessed sporting success including a second-place finish in Bangkok at the highly competitive Council of British International Schools Games, with under 11s competing from across the world.
Students claimed 23 medals during the trip to Thailand including podium places across athletics events as they represented Qatar for the week-long competition earlier this year.
Fast forward a few months and athletics fever has still gripped the school, in a month where the nation prepares to welcome the world’s best athletes for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
The whole of Qatar is preparing for more than 2,000 athletes to compete across 128 events between 27 September and 6 October at Khalifa International Stadium, as well as the world’s first ever Midnight Marathons which will take place along the Corniche.
The long-distance events will no doubt inspire the next generation of pupils in Doha College with a great portion of the school’s community involved in organising, operating and competing in the now traditional “Doha College 10k and 5K run”, which started in 2011. Taking place every November since, the long-distance events have attracted thousands and thousands of athletes with the College even having a number of stars such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Liz McColgan-Nuttall MBE make special guest appearances to visit the pupils.
Dr Sommers, principal at Doha College has been key in the unrivalled sports work that pupils take part in, commenting: “Students, staff and the entire community of Doha College are looking forward to the World Athletics Championships held here. Sport has always had, at Doha College, an exalted place within our curriculum but also the extra-curriculum. We encourage all of our students to be involved; we play, through our sporting academy EVO, and within our curriculum, all sports that are played in Britain, but also basketball and other sports that are played predominantly in America and elsewhere around the world – it’s just an indication of how diverse the culture is here at Doha College. To have the world’s elite in athletics here, in the very country where we all live, is quite exceptional, and I feel proud that the students who we’ve got here at Doha College can be here at that time when these famous sportsmen and women are here to compete. I know that many of our students, staff and parents already have bought tickets to attend many of the events. We will surely support as many as we possibly can, for we’ve been here 40 years and always supported Qatar in this development.”
Doha College is just one of the many schools across Doha that is sharing the excitement of the biggest ever sporting event to come to the Middle East with youngsters throughout the capital city taking part in numerous competitions which will see a whole host of money-can’t-buy prizes on offer throughout the ten-day IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
The schools programme if just one of the many community-engagement initiatives launched in honour of the athletics showpiece with the competition’s Local Organising Committee having engaged with over 50,000 people through a host of activations.
Sheikha Asma al-Thani, Marketing and Communications Director for the Local Organising Committee is helping to drive the engagement and excitement for the competition which gets underway on Friday 27 September: “It has been hugely important to engage with schools and youngsters throughout Qatar in the build up to the IAAF world Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
“Sport unites different communities and cultures and we have seen incredible enthusiasm throughout schools that we have visited along with Falah the official mascot.
“By hosting such an enormous sporting competition here in Qatar we aim to inspire the next generation of sporting hopefuls and show them that there are so many opportunities available to compete and follow dreams. Visiting schools such as Doha College has shown the phenomenal interest in sport here, so we hope that the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 can provide that platform to reach more youngsters and achieve new successes for future generations.”
Children of all ages will be able to enjoy an action-packed ten-day schedule of athletics events such as the highly anticipated 100m and 200m sprints, through to the shows of sheer strength in hammer and shotput throws. All the fun gets underway before even entering the stadium, with the World Athletics Village fanzone hosting live entertainment everyday, along with cuisines from across the world and a whole host of competitions and meet and greet sessions with athletes and Falah the official mascot.
Fans are encouraged to secure the tickets in advance so they don’t miss any of the action, with tickets easily available online at https://iaafworldathleticschamps.com/doha2019/
And who knows, maybe your child will find their first sporting hero and memories that will last a lifetime.
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