There has been a lot of activity recently, and the time to get the blog updated is lacking. It is now the weekend and while I finish a book chapter for an upcoming book (it is going to be a great one, stay tuned!), I feel inspired to take a break and write few notes while sitting outside and enjoying the views.
First of all, let’s talk about work. We hosted the 4th annual congress of the Association of Sports Institutes in Asia (if you want to know more about this organisation you can read all the relevant information here). It was an opportunity to discuss with our Asian colleagues some specific aspects of how athletes transition from youth to junior to senior, how to implement technology to support athletes and how to best prepare them for a long career in sport. It was a great chance to share experiences and knowledge and plan few activities of common interest. I spoke about how research can help sports together with Dr Marcus Lee from the Singapore Institute and it was interesting to see how we are all trying to do similar things facing similar challenges Worldwide. We had great experts also contributing to our discussions and providing their insights on specific areas (see details here). I hope this organisation grows and provides increasing networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities. Also, I hope it will become a catalyst for exchange programmes, joint training camps and competitions and coaching seminars on specific issues.
Right after the conference, we had the Swimming Camp organised by the Qatar Swimming Federation with the Olympic Council of Asia (details here). We supported the camp with some testing activities and it was great to see how much swimming talent there is in Asia which will hopefully translate in more World class performers in years to come. The participants were very impressed with our facilities and the excellent organisation from the Qatar Swimming Federation. This event was run together with the FINA Swimming World Cup event in Doha.
In the same week, we had our graduate squash player Abdulla Al Tamimi compete in the World Championships here in Doha with some great performances exiting in the 3rd round (and becoming the first Qatari player to every reach this level) after a very close match with the number 3 in the World.
Abdulla is a great example of what it is possible to achieve if you work hard and I predict further rising in his ranking if he continues to train and develop like he is now. Abdulla is a super-nice young man, well respected in the squash community and a great ambassador for Qatar and it is always a pleasure to work with him.
Qatar is now a sporting destination, every month there are plenty of events to attend and I am looking forward to watch some matches of the imminent Football clubs’ World Cup in December in one of the new stadiums for the 2022 World Championships.
On a personal note, I am still recovering from my recent calf injury and managed to enter a Triathlon in the team event so I could swim and bike. Hopefully I can be back doing triathlons on my own in December.
Few final notes on the latest happenings in the World of sport. The Nike Oregon Project debacle and the Richard Freeman enquiry. Nothing surprises me anymore, the World of high performance sport is sadly full of examples like the ones exposed in these two cases. While they may seem different, they have similar aspects which I will try to discuss in a next post when I stop shaking my head and I write a blog article with some opinions.