Every Thursday, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha—from fashion and beauty, to food and dining, health, education, and more!
This week, we're shining the spotlight on Olympic Stars—Qatar's only professional center for rhythmic gymnastics and ballet for girls in Doha!
Qatar is known globally as one of the very few countries to dedicate a holiday just for sports and it's always on the lookout for businesses which are willing to go the extra mile to support its healthy ambitions, not just for the citizens but for the country in general as well.
One of these is Olympic Stars—Dr. Haya Al-Attiya and Tatiana Yakimova's brainchild. Being accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Qatar, the sports center is fully-invested in training their girls with ONLY the most talented sportswomen in the world. One of them is coach Jade Faulkner who represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games.
"What separates us from other sports schools in Qatar is that we cater our services especially and exclusively for girls. All our coaches are female and we make our gym-space only for girls. We are also the only sports school in Qatar that has real Olympians teaching our students," Dr. Al-Attiya proudly shared.
Their second coach, Anastasia Fokina, was part of the Olympic Reserve team for the Russian Federation.
There's no doubt that Qatar has become a center of sporting excellence in the world today. For example, the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 took place in Qatar mid-September and the World Championship for Artistic Gymnastics is set to mesmerize Doha—for the first time ever!—next month.
Olympic Stars has been on the grind since almost a year ago and the founders are happy to share with ILQ their humble beginnings.
"We both came to the understanding that there is a shortage of sports gym space for young girls in Qatar so we decided to address this problem by making Olympic Stars come to life as we always seek to empower women in a country where majority of the population is made up of men just like Qatar. Rhythmic Gymnastics is the only Olympic sport that is for women, so it's the perfect sport to start with," said Tatiana Yakimova.
The duo also mentioned that the reception that they're receiving from the girls so far are overwhelming and mostly positive. "Last 2017, we had over 100 students registered and this year our classes are nearly at full capacity. We try very hard to make sure our class sizes are small to ensure the quality."
They also shared with all smiles the fact that over 50% of Olympic Stars' enrolees are Qatari girls. "Besides this, we represent students from over 15 different nationalities."
Olympic Stars is not currently affiliated with the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) but Dr. Al-Attiya and Tatiana cited that they have attended educational seminars organized by QBIC and it has been very helpful and educational in the establishment of the professional center that they've been planning for many years now.
And just like every up-and-coming startup companies in the country, Olympic Stars is also contributing towards the fulfillment of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Olympic Stars has two locations in Doha (Al-Sadd & Al-Waab). Parents are welcome to visit these two branches for a free trial lesson with their daughters anytime of the day. The fees for two classes in a week is QR 650 per month.
To know more about Olympic Stars, check out their website and social media links below!
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