ASPIRE's Dome is One of the Busiest Sporting Venues in the World.
Level of Activity at Doha Institution matches some of the Most Internationally-Famous Stadiums
New figures released today show that the Sports Dome at the ASPIRE Academy in Doha is one of the most active sporting facilities in the world, having the venue occupied almost every day in the 2007 and 2008 calendar year.
A mix of international and local competitions, inclusive of training and local community activity has ensured that the iconic Dome - the world's largest indoor sports facility - has been in almost constant use.
Since the ASIAN GAMES in 2006, the Dome has hosted over 56 distinct international, regional and local events. These included the Int. Fencing Grand Prix (January 2006-2007), 2007 Liebherr Qatar Open, Table Tennis Championship, AFC-QFA- ASPIRE Festivals of Football, the 3rd Asian Indoor Athletics Championships (February), the Doha Artistic World Cup Series (March) and a major international Sports Science Conference in January 2008 - New Approaches for Advancement in Elite Sports.
The youth squads of national football teams from Europe, Asia and Latin America have traveled to Qatar to train and play against ASPIRE students, including world famous clubs Real Madrid FC, FC Porto, FC Valencia, Ajax Amsterdam, Bayer Leverkusen as well as Youth National Team from Brazil and Germany.
It has also been used as a venue for national events like the IAAF Kids Athletics Event, in 2006 and 2007, and the recent QOC Schools Olympic Day, which featured 4,000 boys and 2,000 girls competing in eight sports simultaneous events.
In addition, the ASPIRE Dome is the regular training venue for all the ASPIRE student-athletes and has been used as a training venue by major Qatari sporting bodies, including the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Qatar Athletics Federation, Qatar Gymnastics Association and the Qatar Football Association.
International federations and sports groups have praised the facility as one of the most advanced in the world. Over 106 gymnasts from more than 38 countries took part in a three-day Doha Artistic World Cup Series held in March 2008, with organisers calling the facilities "astonishing."
The ASPIRE Dome has also evolved into a true community resource, and is one of the most widely-used facilities for keep fit classes and sports practice groups in the entire Middle East region, with over 4,000 people taking part.
One of the most remarkable achievements has been encouraging a diverse range of participants, across all age groups and genders. ASPIRE's talent centers currently provide fitness training exercises for 450 boys and 450 girls, with the Academy also hosts daily exercises for schools.
Since the start of the year, it has been used for children's camps and a specialist anti-diabetes workshop hosted by ASPIRE Active, with plans for a specialist anti-obesity camp for overweight children.
Dr. Andreas Bleicher, Sports Director, ASPIRE said: "ASPIRE has developed as a vital community facility, providing an important platform for a host of community activities and specialist health programs. There are very few sports stadia anywhere in the world that host both international-level competitions and events for the local community as regularly."
As well as a public facility, the Dome continues to be used as a training resource for ASPIRE's student athletes. The football pitches, athletic track and multi-sport venue are in almost daily use by the young athletes, who are being trained using Olympic standard equipment and techniques.
The ASPIRE Dome is a world-class sporting facility comprising state-of-the-art sports science labs, fitness halls, a physiotherapy/medical centre, an indoor football pitch, an indoor 200m athletics track, an Olympic-sized swimming and diving pool, gymnastics hall, 2 multipurpose sports halls, table-tennis hall, combat sports area, a five-a-side football hall, a fencing area and two squash courts.
Photo caption: The ASPIRE Sports Dome, one of the busiest sporting facilities in the Middle East.
[c] 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)