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‘Qatar can be a waterskiing hub in the Middle East’

International Waterski and Wakeboard Association president says they are keen to partner with Qatar.
Waterskiing Competitions
After witnessing the waterskiing competitions at the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha the IWWF President Jose Antonio Perez Priego observed that Qatar could become a hub for the sport in the Middle East. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The International Waterski and Wakeboard Association (IWWF) president Jose Antonio Perez Priego was full of praise for the excellent facilities at the Legtaifiya Lagoon and the way Qatar organised the competitions at the ANOC World Beach Games.

He said the IWWF was keen to partner with Qatar on any projects or events related to these sports in future.

“Judging by what we saw, Qatar has all the facilities needed for a major water sports event. And the Legtaifiya Lagoon is protected from adverse effects of changing weather conditions. It’s an ideal location to host such events. We would certainly like to collaborate with Qatar in future,” said Priego.

1 International Waterski And Wakeboard Association President Jose Antonio Perez Priego
International Waterski and Wakeboard Association president Jose Antonio Perez Priego. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

He recalled that the IWWF had partnered with the Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation (QSRF) for some time between 2010 and 2012.
“We would love to come back here and partner with Qatar again. Now that Qatar has all the facilities, we’re in talks with QSRF to see if we can initiate activities again. There’s an opportunity to start a new national federation for waterski and wakeboarding in Qatar and we would love that,” he added.

Priego said Qatar had the potential to be a hub for waterskiing and wakeboarding in the Middle East.

“You’ve many countries in the region who’re active in water skiing and wakeboarding. We know that people in this part of the world love speed and thrill. These sports provide them in plenty,” he said.

The IWWF chief lauded Qatar’s efforts in organising the World Beach Games in a grand manner.

“The organisation is amazing. All the latest equipment that needed for the event were in place. Waterskiing is an open sport and sometimes the weather plays havoc with scheduling. But the Doha venue is perfect and it set an ideal stage for some high-end competition,” he said.

Priego, though sounded a bit disappointed about waterskiing narrowly missing out on an Olympics berth, was optimistic about its future.

“We’ve seen a lot of interest in this sport, especially in the Middle East. It’s popular in Europe and the US, but we’re now looking to make it popular in Africa too and we’re working towards that,” he said.
He said the IWWF was planning to launch a Pro-Tour to offer the players a series of competitions to showcase their skills as well as help them earn more money.