The skateboarding competition, one of the 13 sports in the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games 2019 in Qatar, is expected to further promote the sport and “take it to the next level,” Qatar Extreme Sports (QES) founder Farhan al-Sayed has said.
The event, which concluded yesterday at Aspire Park, attracted a large number of fans and enthusiasts who cheered and witnessed players from various countries showcasing their skateboarding skills and talent.
“The ANOC World Beach Games is an opportunity for us to take skateboarding to the next level and for skateboarders here to stay united and work to a common goal of producing a team to the Olympics,” al-Sayed told Gulf Times.
Apart from helping to raise awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle through sports, he expressed optimism that such games will also inspire and boost the enthusiasm of youngsters in Qatar to try the sport, and to a certain level, undergo proper training in the future. While skateboarding is more physical and “a bit extreme” compared to other sports, al-Sayed noted that it has been very attractive to young people.
According to al-Sayed, QES hopes to forge a partnership with the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and Aspire Zone to organise regular skateboarding competitions, as well as other extreme sports, on an international level. “Hopefully the QOC will like the idea, considering they have organised and seen this event on such a high-level,” the QES founder said. “We have lots of enthusiasts coming to Qatar who are into skating, rollerblading, BMX biking and all these can be done on this skate parks in the country.”
Aspire Park was among the four venues selected to host the ANOC World Beach Games this year, including Katara beach, Al Gharafa Sports Club, and Ritz-Carlton Canal.
“The skate park was the best I’ve ever seen in the world and it is here in Doha, at Aspire Park right behind Hyatt Plaza, it was amazing – best thing ever happened to Qatar in this aspect,” he stressed.
Al-Sayed, who is also a Qatari entrepreneur, said these prestigious sporting events – World Athletics Championships and ANOC World Beach Games – have created a positive impact on Qatar’s hospitality and retail sectors. He noted that hotels, aviation, malls, and other business establishments and sectors witnessed revenue growth during the hosting of these competitions. “Lots of delegations arrive prior to the event, and stay over after to enjoy the city and the country, there are many things to see here,” al-Sayed said.
“We are moving into the camping season in Qatar which is very attractive to residents and lots of tourists, they want to visit sand dunes to see how the Qatari culture of camping is done, which is very unique for them,” he added.
Al-Sayed said Souq Waqif and Souq Al Wakrah, as well as Katara – the Cultural Village, have also been attracting more visitors especially during these period when temperatures go down.
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