Doha, November 13 (QNA) — ASPIRE4SPORT witnessed today the signing of a memorandum of understanding between HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdurrahman Al Thani, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee, and his French counterpart Jean-Pierre Mougin.
The agreement allows the two to work together towards excellence in sports whether Olympic or non-Olympic, through the exchange of knowledge through resources, managers, coaches and sports medicine experts.
“This MoU is the culmination of several small agreements between Qatari sports federations, including the handball and volleyball federations, and their French counterparts,” said HE Sheikh Saoud. “French sports is developed in many areas, and we look forward to the great benefit we can draw from them, but also to transferring some of our own knowledge from the Qatari sports sector.”
“This agreement will be of mutual benefit, and will also allow us to work together to fight corruption in sports and to champion Olympic values,” said Jean-Pierre Mougin, Secretary General of the French National Olympic Committee. “We are particularly delighted that this signing comes at a time when 15 French companies are showcasing sports solutions and products at ASPIRE4SPORT through the French pavilion.”
About 15 French companies are exhibiting at the pavilion which is held at ASPIRE4SPORT for the first time by UBIFRANCE the French Agency for International Business Development. The project is part of an ambitious sports policy which France has been conducting for the past decade to pursue the latest technology in infrastructures and sports facilities.
French participation at ASPIRE4SPORT extended out onto the field where Paris-Saint Germain is hosting a coaching clinic alongside Liverpool FC for approximately 600 children. The clinics were facilitated by Qatar Shell and the Qatar Football Association.
“We are very proud to be at ASPIRE4SPORT for the second year running. PSG is one of the most well-known football clubs and it is important for us to help young footballers develop their talent through our coaching clinics,” said Bertrand Revzeau, Academy Director.
“We are teaching the kids how to handle the ball and trying to develop their football techniques in a fun and energetic environment. We hope that all our students will love the sport as much as we do and continue to develop as athletes,” he added.
Rashid Abdulaziz, a student of the PSG coaching clinics, commented, “I am having so much fun playing football here with my friends. I have learned how to pass the ball and shoot from my coaches. My goal is to become a Barcelona player especially like Lionel Messi.”
Aspiring football stars like Abdulaziz and many other children and adults had the chance to interact with FCB legends and their counterparts from Real Madrid who spoke to their fans before meeting on the field in another El Clasico match where the oldest and most watched rivalry in football history played out another chapter.
“For me, the El Clasico match is a very special occasion. I have now lived in Qatar for 7 years and tonight I have the opportunity to play with old colleagues as well as receive support from my family and friends who will be in the stands watching,” commented Dutch football legend Ronald De Boer. “Although all the players on both teams are good friends, we are playing a competitive game so hopefully we will come away with a victory. Tonight I will be proud to wear my Barcelona shirt again.”
The second day of ASPIRE4SPORT also saw the ASPIRE TECH forum which featured discussions on the latest in sports technology including a case study on the use of IT in the London 2012 Olymic Games.
“There is a dependency on IT and stimulation at a mega event and over 200,000 hours were spent on developing the necessary infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic,” said Marwan Zaidan, Senior Manager at Cisco Solutions.
Still the return on investment was worth the time, according to Zaidan, who stated that approximately 10 billion dollars was generated for the government for the London 2012 Olympics, compared to 3.5 billion dollars generated for the last FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“You can postpone a rocket launch but you can’t postpone an Olympics because IT is not working,” stressed Zaidan, quoting Jean Benoit Gauthier to highlight the scale, complexity and importance of the network infrastructure provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Qatar Tourism Authority also hosted a workshop on Sport Tourism with the participation of top officials including QTA Chairman Eissa Al Mohannadi, QOC Secretary General HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, members of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and the Qatar Football Association as well as heads of travel agencies and hotel managers. (QNA)