The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education launched the first stage of Kun Riyadi (Be an Athlete), a unique Athlete Development Pathway that aims to produce Qatari sporting champions.
The first phase, ‘Quality’ focuses on sports development among children 0-7 year olds and will be rolled out across nurseries and schools in Qatar, instilling enjoyment and interest in sports from the earliest possible age. Speaking at the launch, Secretary General of QOC Jassim Bin Rashed Al Buenain said that the first phase of the programme aims to provide the opportunity for sports participation and development from the very earliest stage of childhood.
Our unique Athlete Development Pathway (ADP) is a fundamental part of the new QOC vision and direction for sports, which strives to achieve Qatari sporting success at every level. Identifying, developing and nurturing talented athletes at every stage of their career is key to ensuring that they reach their full potential. But before that, it is vital that we instil an enjoyment and love for sports at the youngest possible age.’
Ministry of Education and Higher Education Deputy Minister Rabea Mohamed Al-Kaabi was also very pleased to be working with QOC on the project.
Our schools are incubators of talent and sporting skills and it is the vision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to provide innovative and high-quality opportunities for our students. The Ministry has made physical education one of the basic subjects within the school syllabus, using the highest international standards while creating its curriculum.’
ADP was launched in November 2016 by QOC and Aspire Academy as a result of a three-year project involving the input of multiple stakeholders, sporting entities and world-class sports development experts from Aspire Academy.
The ‘Quality’ phase of ADP was launched with participating schools at Qatar Foundation Student Centre, with coaches from Qatar national federations supporting schoolteachers in running fun and engaging lessons focused on gymnastics and athletics. Also participating in the launch were Team Qatar gymnasts Duha Al Habshi and Abdulla Al Hareth, who demonstrated their skills and answered questions about their successful sporting careers.
This stage of Kun Riyadi was designed to encourage active play and exploration to help children develop motor skills to help them become effective at running, jumping and throwing later on in life. Lessons and activities focused on demonstrating and providing a joyful and supportive environment where children enjoy sports and have fun. The programme will be initially rolled out in three sports – gymnastics, athletics and swimming, across 12 schools in Qatar. Progress will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure goals are met. Sports will become an essential part of all schools until all educational institutions in Qatar are involved, hopefully by 2022.
Five Stage Model
Qatar ADP is a five-stage model that provides a comprehensive framework for developing skills at critical periods in an athlete’s development from early childhood to post-retirement. The next phases after Quality see participants aged 8-12 develop a foundation of different skills to serve them in a range of sports, before a tailored programme is provided that is specific to their individual needs (13-18 years old). At 19, tailored practice, training, competition, and recovery regimes are provided to ensure that athletes maximise their potential. The final stage of development ensures that athletes remain active after their careers and impart their knowledge and experience to future generations participating in the pathway. Athletes can enter this stage at any age depending on whether they decide to revert to playing sports at a recreational level or remain in the professional sphere as coach or sports official.
The Qatar Olympic Committee has previously invested in a number of distinguished athletes through scholarship programmes. The athletes would return after receiving their university degrees to work for the institution, continuing to contribute to the development of the national sports movement.
The ADP framework includes 39 sport specific models, each tailored to enable optimum development within different sports and disciplines, including para-sport and women in sports. It will be rolled out with an innovative Athlete Management System that centralises data gathering of all athletes, including sports science data, learning progress and injury history. This will enable insights into the athletes’ training, which will also help shape and improve future training programmes. An in-depth ADP encyclopaedia has also been produced to support its delivery, which includes background information, guidelines, processes and techniques.
For more information about the Athlete Development Pathway, visit the QOC website at olympic.qa.