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Posted On: 21 October 2015 04:22 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Aspire Academy’s Youth Athletics Congress sheds the light on how to best enhance performance in athletics

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The Youth Athletics Coaching Congress, organised by Aspire Academy in cooperation with the Qatar Athletic Federation (QAF) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), has witnessed fruitful and engaging discussions by the sport’s leading athletes and coaches.

Major General Dahlan Al Hamad, President of the QAF and the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) and Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); Mr. Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, and Mr. Vahid Kardany, representative from the OCA, welcomed the attendees to the congress and wished them fruitful and productive discussions that positively contribute to the growth of athletics in the region.

Major General Dahlan Al Hamad said: “Sport has developed from being a hobby to being a science that we must study. We have to adapt to the new concept of sport and in order to do so we need to have qualified coaches. This is one of the most important factors for the success of athletes. If a coach is able to develop an athlete with the right foundation, and if he provides the appropriate coaching guidance, then he can create a champion”.

A panel discussion on the “Journey to Excellence” also took place, and featured the South African former long-distance runner and Olympic medalist Elana Meyer from South Africa, as well as three outstanding Qatari track-and-field athletes: high jump World Champion and Aspire Academy graduate Mutaz Essa Barshim, middle-distance runner Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla and endurance runner Abubaker Haydar, another Aspire graduate. They talked about their journey, the importance of coaches in their careers and what challenges they had to overcome in order to make the step from youth to senior level.

The second day of the congress specifically looked at a number of topics of high importance to athletes. Dr. Michael Johnston, conditioning consultant at the British athletics team, highlighted the role of strength training in sprinting and how to build the foundation for elite performance. Chris Gaviglio, the Head of Strength & Conditioning at the

Queensland Academy of Sport, presented a session titled “The Power of Three– Strength Training for Athletic Performance”, highlighting the main elements needed to maximize performance in athletics.

A number of breakout sessions focusing on training theories were also held. These were attended by the Academy’s coaches, and coaches from local clubs and federations. Topics discussed included running, throws training, horizontal and high jump training, endurance training, and more.

Furthermore, gym and nutrition masterclass sessions were held in the Academy’s Indoor Track, and were presented a number of experts who discussed injury prevention, Olympics/gym strength, plyometrics, sports nutrition for young athletes and related challenges and solution – presented by the Aspire Nutrition Team.

The Youth Athletics Coaching Congress was launched in 2014 by Aspire Academy in cooperation with QAF. The first edition of the congress witnessed the participation of around 270 participants from local clubs and federations, in addition to delegates from all over the world.