The Qatar British Business Forum (QBBF) was pleased to host the former Olympic and World Champion athlete Liz McColghan on Thursday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The Olympic Silver medalist, former world record holder and BBC Sports Personality of the Year shared her experiences of developing athletics for young people from all communities in Qatar.
Since moving to Doha in 2014, McColghan has been committed to supporting the growth of the athletics opportunities across the country. Two years ago she established Qatar’s only independent and international athletic club – Doha Athletic Club, and she has worked tirelessly to encourage the involvement of women in sports.
At the event which bought together QBBF members, McColghan delivered an inspirational speech that followed her athletic journey from a young age in Scotland, which saw her become one of the most celebrated athletes in British history. She later moved into the world of coaching, supporting Team GB as well as her own daughter who competed in the London Olympics, and has the qualifying time for Rio 2016 Olympics.
McColghan said: “Athletics has been a lifelong passion of mine from early childhood, to after my retirement from competition.
Sport created an opportunity to create an inner drive in me that no one thought was possible and I see similar drive in the girls and boys here in Doha. By creating sporting opportunities children learn life skills that they can utilise in the workplace as adults.
It is a competing world we live in and we need drive, ambition and confidence to achieve our dreams”
Speaking about the importance of women in sports, McColghan addressed the challenges that women often face due to cultural and religious dress, particularly in relation to no hijab rulings at international sporting events. Over the past few years, sports have become more accessible to women and girls and McColghan expressed her personal commitment to nurturing and supporting talent within the community.
QBBF Chairman and CEO of the Rumaillah Group, Emad Turkman MBE said: “Liz McColghan’s story is truly inspirational. She has faced many challenges whilst developing her career, both as an athlete and as a woman in sports. As a result, she is one of Britain’s most respected athletes and the work that she is doing in Qatar to develop athletic talent does not go unnoticed”.
For more information on QBBF visit www.qbbf.com
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