Aspire Academy

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Aspire Academy
أكاديمية أسباير
Aspire Academy Logo White.png
Former names ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence
Location Doha
Qatar
Coordinates 25°16′05″N 51°26′37″E / 25.268071°N 51.443605°E / 25.268071; 51.443605
Opened 2004

Coordinates: 25°16′05″N 51°26′37″E / 25.268071°N 51.443605°E / 25.268071; 51.443605 Aspire Academy (Arabic: أكاديمية أسباير ‘Akādīmiyat ‘Asbāyr) is a sports academy based in Qatar, founded in 2004 with the goal to scout and help develop Qatari athletes, whilst also providing them with secondary school education.

History[edit]

Aspire Academy graduates in 2012.

Aspire Academy was established by an Emiri Decree, No. 16 of 2004,[1] as an independent government-funded agency that reported directly to HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani through HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Later, an Emiri Decree – No.1 of 2008[2] – incorporated the Aspire Academy as a strategic business unit (SBU) into the new, parent organization of Aspire Zone Foundation. Despite the switch from an independent government body to an SBU, the original purpose and objectives of the Aspire Academy remained the same.

On 17 November 2005, HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani led an opening ceremony of the Aspire Dome, essentially signaling the global announcement of Aspire Academy as an international institute of high standing. Over the years, it has received international recognition.[3][4][5]

Talent Identification Program[edit]

Aspire Academy's Talent Identification (TID) Program[6] is a nationwide initiative to propel the state of Qatar into the international sporting arena. Working in close coordination with the Qatar National Olympic Committee, and the Supreme Education Council (SEC), its primary aim is to find students within schools in Qatar who have exceptional athletic talent and offer them a student-athlete scholarship within Aspire.

Curriculum[edit]

Aspire Academy has adopted a comprehensive concept of curriculum, which does not rely solely on books and courses.

Its courses and subjects feature studies of:[7]

  • Arabic
  • Islamic Studies
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Social Studies: History, Geography.

School Accreditation[edit]

On January 21st 2016, Aspire Academy received international accreditation from the Council of International School (CIS).[8]

HOPE Project[edit]

The H.O.P.E Project – Habituating Overseas Professional Experience –[7] was launched to provide its young football players (ages 18+) with the opportunity to experience training and playing for well-established professional football clubs in Europe. By sending a selection of its football players to these football organizations, the academy aims to help them gain experience, develop their skills and compete with multinational players coming from various multi-cultural backgrounds. International clubs includes Real Madrid,[9] Villareal,[10] Red Bull Salzburg,[11] K.A.S. Eupen, Cultural Leonesa. LASK Linz[12] and Real Sociedad.[13]

Aspire Football Dreams[edit]

Aspire Football Dreams[14] is a humanitarian football project currently existent in 18 developing countries on three continents, aimed at empowering youth of the world by identifying football talents. Prepared and planned in 2005/2006 and launched on the ground in 2007, the Aspire Football Dreams project has already tested over two million young footballers from Asia, Latin America and Africa, as part of the largest-ever talent search within the sport. The project relies on a team of professional coaches and scouts, as well as thousands of volunteers.[5][citation needed] It was established in 2005.

The team has participated in international events, such as the 2011 VFF Cup, where they competed against national teams, and placed runners-up.[6][citation needed]

Aspire cooperates with the national football associations of the youngsters involved.

Senegal Academy[edit]

Aspire set up an Academy in Senegal in 2008-2009.[15]

One of the notable events they won was the 2011 Milk Cup, in which they defeated a Manchester United youth team 5-1.[16][17] They have also won the Ciocaria Cup in Italy.[18]

National teams[edit]

As of 2015, more than 40 of the scholarship recipients have represented their national football associations (including Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Thailand, Paraguay and Mali) from U17 to A-national teams. No players have been naturalized/represented Qatar, as the academy states that this is not the aim of the project.[19]

Achievements[edit]

Football[edit]

In 2014, the Qatar U-19 National Football Team, composed solely of past or current Aspire Academy student-athletes, won the 38th edition of the AFC U-19 Championship in Myanmar, for the first time in Qatar's history.

Athletics[edit]

Global ambassadors[edit]

Aspire Academy has chosen an inspiring group of sports people who have achieved outstanding international sporting success in their sporting journey to represent Aspire Academy as Global Ambassadors.[26]

Controversies[edit]

The Aspire Dome at night

There have been several controversies regarding the academy. One such controversy is the allegation that Qatar bought votes to host the 2022 World Cup with the academy, with critics stating that Aspire sent scouts to Thailand and Guatemala, countries with little footballing history, due to both countries having representation on the FIFA Executive Committee. In addition, Paraguay, one of the countries with a recently opened program, is home to CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz.[27] However, the statements were denied by Qatar.[28]

Most notably, there have been many allegations that Qatar plans to assimilate academy players into their 2022 World Cup squad.[29] This is bolstered by Qatar's lenient policy on naturalization of athletes for sports.[30][31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Emiri Decree, No. (16) 2004 - Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence Establishment". Almeezan.qa. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  2. ^ "Emiri Decree No. (1) 2008 - Aspire Zone Foundation establishment". Almeezan.qa. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120121031626/http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=195667&version=1&template_id=49&parent_id=29. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Bennett, Tom. "Aspire Academy: Qatar's Future of Football - Back Page Football Back Page Football". Backpagefootball.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  6. ^ Academy, Aspire. "TID & Admissions". Aspire.qa. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  7. ^ a b "Teaching & Learnings". Aspire.qa. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Aspire Academy - CIS Article". 
  9. ^ HOPE PROJECT ABDULLAH ALAHRAK (Real Madrid), retrieved 2015-08-11 
  10. ^ LP FL U20 17 NASSER AL NASR.transfer, retrieved 2015-08-11 
  11. ^ HOPE PROJECT:TAMIEEM AL MUHAZA (Red Bull Salzburg), retrieved 2015-08-11 
  12. ^ EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT: JASSIM AL SHAMMARI (LASK Linz), retrieved 2015-08-11 
  13. ^ HOPE PROJECT: TAREK SALMAN (Real Sociedad), retrieved 2015-08-11 
  14. ^ "Aspire Football Dreams". Football-dreams.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  15. ^ "ASPIRE Africa. Football Dreams - Largest Football Talent Search in History... - DOHA, Qatar, April 19 /PR Newswire UK/". DOHA, Qatar: Prnewswire.co.uk. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  16. ^ "BBC Sport - Qataris Aspire hammer Man Utd in Milk Cup Premier final". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ "'Aspire Football Dreams 95' wins Ciociaria Cup | Soccer News 2010-06-02". Ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  19. ^ Academy, Aspire. "Aspire Football Dreams". Aspire.qa. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  20. ^ "IAAF: Barshim beats Bondarenko in Brussels with Asian high jump record – IAAF Diamond League | iaaf.org". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  21. ^ Bull, Red. "Barshim wins Diamond League & breaks new records". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  22. ^ "IAAF: Athlete profile for Mutaz Essa Barshim". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  23. ^ "Aspire Academy athlete Ashraf El-Seify sets new world junior record in Barcelona". Qatarisbooming.com. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  24. ^ "IAAF: Athlete profile for Ashraf Amgad Elseify". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  25. ^ "IAAF: Report: men's hammer throw – IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014 | iaaf.org". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  26. ^ Academy, Aspire. "Global Ambassadors & Visitors". Aspire.qa. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  27. ^ "Top 10 Soccer Academy » Blog Archive » Qatar Bought World Cup votes with youth academies". Top10soccer.org. 2011-04-23. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  28. ^ [3]
  29. ^ [4][dead link]
  30. ^ "The football 'invaders from Brazil' - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  31. ^ [5][dead link]

External links[edit]