After attracting more than 40,000 visitors in its first year, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) is preparing to host the second Aspire International Kite Festival, a three-day event due to take place in Aspire Park from the 6th until the 9th March, 2018.
Teams of professional kite flyers will gather in Doha to compete in a range of individual and team kite events including synchronised kite performances and kite flying art displays. The country’s first kinetic wind decorations have also been set up in Aspire Park to captivate the event’s visitors.
Speaking about the event, Mrs. Kholoud Al Hail, Chairperson of the Event’s Organising Committee said: “We’re delighted to see the return of the Aspire International Kite Festival for the second consecutive year, and we hope this year’s event builds on last year’s huge success. After year-long planning, this year’s Festival will witness more countries and schools taking part at the competitions. And we’ve many more surprises yet to be announced – so stay tuned.”
Al Hail added: “AZF’s outdoor activities are the ideal combination between sports, culture and entertainment. They provide a great opportunity for all community members to enjoy Qatar’s weather this time of the year. This year’s Festival will also enable people who are interested to learn new skills to do so, by getting involved in the various kite flying workshops that are being organised around Qatar.”
Professional Kite competitions
The teams will be assessed by a professional judging panel based on the creativity of their design, the craftsmanship, ability and duration of the kite flight.
Last year’s professional competitions were split into individual and team categories. In the individual category, the gold medal went to French participant Richard Debray, whilst his fellow countryman Roger Tessa-Gambassi bagged the silver. Malaysian participant Adam Ahmad won the bronze.
In the Pairs & Teams category, Andesky from Colombia won the gold, Ex-Grads from the UK won silver and Paire’Spire from France won the bronze.
This year will mark Qatar’s first participation in the competitions. In preparation, the Secretary of the International ASEAN Kite Council, renowned Singaporean trainer, Gadis Riyadi, will organise a series of workshops for Qatar’s team members this Friday and Saturday, January 26-27 from 9:30 am until 6:00 pm in the Ladies Sports Hall in Aspire Zone.
In addition, amateur enthusiasts and young children will be able to design and decorate their own kites and take part in inter-school competitions that are organised by AZF as part of the main event in March. Children from Grades 1-6 can enter the competition with a maximum of ten students per team.
In the run up to this year’s inter-schools competitions, AZF organised a three-day workshop series for 60 teachers from 15 schools last November. The especially designed workshops were organised to provide inspiration and ideas for how to build and decorate a kite, as well as tips and tricks for flying them and easy to follow explanations of kite aerodynamics.
The workshops were delivered by acclaimed Canadian trainer, Robert Trépanier. Trépanier’s airborne portraiture has had a huge impact on the art of kite flying. His own kite features caricatures of everyday people with distinguished, sometimes dark and often humorous features. In his workshops, Trépanier addressed topics such as kite history, the science behind kite flying, and different techniques for of kite making, tailored to de easily understood and implemented by young children.
First-place school team winner will walk away with QAR 50,000, whilst second-place winner will take home QAR 30,000, and third-place winner QAR 10,000. Last year’s winners were Muaz bin Jabal School, Gheras International School and Birla Public School respectively.
All images courtesy of Aspire Zone Foundation
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