"King of the Mile" Hicham El Guerrouj Joins ASPIRE Sports Academy, Qatar
DOHA, Qatar, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Triple world record holder and sporting icon Hicham El Guerrouj has joined the team at ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence based in Doha, to offer encouragement and inspiration for the next generation of athletic hopefuls. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060727/221239 ) As an ASPIRE Ambassador, El Guerrouj will work with the Academy to offer guidance and advice for current student athletes as well as backing wider sports inclusion programs for children in the Middle East and beyond. Officially opened in November 2005, ASPIRE is one of the most advanced Athletic Academies in the world, and was developed as part of a billion dollar investment into sport in Qatar. The Academy is working hard to attract the world's best coaches across a range of disciplines and executives hope that attracting talents of the calibre of El Guerrouj will offer ASPIRE's student athletes a unique source of learning and inspiration. The double Olympic champion, who holds the world record for the 1,500 metres, the mile and 2,000 metres, announced his retirement in May of this year and expressed his desire to continue to contribute to the development of sport throughout the region. El Guerrouj said: "I have watched ASPIRE develop as an institution from the very beginning and have been very impressed by its impact upon youth development in the Middle East and the wider Arab world. If my contribution helps to inspire more young athletes to train and develop their talents, it will be a worthwhile experience for us all." ASPIRE previously hosted El Guerrouj in November 2005, when he was one of the sporting legends present at the ceremony to inaugurate the opening of the world's largest indoor sports dome on the ASPIRE campus. Dr. Thomas Flock, Director General at ASPIRE, commented: "Hicham El Guerrouj is widely recognized as one of the greatest athletes in the history of international competition, so his association with us is both an honour and a major opportunity for our students. "We hope that they will learn from his example and that - whatever levels of sport they are able to compete at in the future - they recognize the importance of character, ambition and the sporting spirit that Hicham El Guerrouj exemplifies." About ASPIRE ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, was created with the dual aims of identifying and transforming promising student athletes into world renowned champions across a wide range of sports and to act as a beacon to draw sporting culture into the centre of life in Qatar and the surrounding region. The Academy is distinguished by a philosophy which aims to develop the whole student, providing them with full academic, social and sporting development. Unrivalled facilities mark the Academy out as one of the world's foremost sporting and educational institutions, and entice an ever increasing number of visitors from across the spectrum of world sports to use or simply view them. These same facilities will also play host to events during the forthcoming Asian Games 2006. With one indoor and seven outdoor football pitches, athletics tracks, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, diving pool, combat arenas, gymnastics arena, specially designed weight rooms, lecture halls, dormitories to accommodate what will eventually become 1,000 students, a medical centre and much more besides, beneath the world's largest purpose built indoor sports dome, every aspect of the development of elite athletes is catered for. ASPIRE is a place for those who dare to dream. ASPIRE TODAY, INSPIRE TOMORROW www.aspire.qa
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