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Aspire Academy passes out 12th batch of student-athletes in a colourful ceremony

41 student-athletes, belonging to nine different sporting disciplines, graduated from the prestigious Aspire Academy yesterday.

For the last 15 years, Qatar’s Aspire Academy has done consistent work in creating a generation of young sports superstars.

The Academy’s 12th batch of students, comprising 41 youngsters, graduated last week during a colourful ceremony, as their parents and friends proudly looked on.

The graduates have made their marks in different disciplines including archery, athletics, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, soccer, squash and table tennis.

However, four boys have made an interesting career choice – that of football referees. With Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there seems to be a definite push to develop Qatari talents in all areas of the game.

Mohammed Hussain, one of the young aspiring referees said the Academy gave him the right impetus to grow.

“Although I studied and gym trained with my peer group at Aspire Academy, all refereeing classes were organised by the Qatar Football Association. My biggest wish in life is to officiate international matches in Qatar and beyond,” he told

Several top officials – including Qatar Olympic Committee’s Second Vice-President Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman Al Kuwari and Aspire Academy’s Deputy Director General Ali Salem Afifa – attended the event.

Al Kuwari expressed confidence about the graduates doing well in upcoming competitions.

“Every year, Aspire Academy astonishes us with their wards’ achievements. This year too, the graduates will compete in many international events including the IAAF World Championships in Doha. I’m sure they will do their best at home,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ali Salem Afifa encouraged his students to excel in life.

“You now join several other distinguished students who graduated from this great institution. We want you to remain focused, work hard and be model citizens. Maintain the values, a sense of purpose and excellence you’ve learnt during your time at Aspire,” he said.

The Aspire Academy has enjoyed an exceptional year thus far. Around 70% of the national men’s football team, which won the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in history, comprised graduates.

While Almoez Ali was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and top goal scorer, Saad Al Sheeb was the best goalkeeper. Akram Afif cornered the prize for the most accurate passes in the tournament.