Wiking foresees future for American football in Qatar

July 10, 2014 - 12:44:35 am

DOHA: A high-ranking delegation of American football including Tommy Wiking, President of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) visited the Aspire Academy on Tuesday. 

NFL-player Husain Abdullah (Kansas City Chiefs),  Mr. Ian McCary Deputy chief of mission in the Embassy of United States  of America in Doha, and Ms. Kristen Aanstoos cultural attaché the Embassy of United States  of America in Doha were also welcomed at the academy.

They were taken on a guided tour through the facilities and had the chance to talk and exchange thoughts with Professor Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science.

The delegation then was welcomed by Khaled Abdulla Al-Sulaiteen, CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation in his office where he explained to the guests the overall mission and vision of the academy and the whole AZF in promoting sports.  The visitors were impressed by the facilities. 

“The facilities here at Aspire are very impressive. They really offer the highest international level,” commented Wiking, who sees a huge potential for American football in Qatar. 

“It is a great way to reach kids, even if they are overweight and if they haven’t done sports before, because there are different positions they can still play and also some of the professional players are big guys. And, of course, the sport is growing in the Gulf region and Qatar definitely has the chance to take a leading role in it.”

So far the IFAF has 64 members all over the world and Wiking is encouraging Qatar to lay the ground to join them in the future. 

“Therefore they need to improve the structure and form a federation. We definitely hope that this is the start of a bigger engagement and maybe Aspire can also become a hub for American Football in Qatar.”

Al- Sulaiteen presented the guests with tokens as memories of their visit and thanked them for their interest in visiting the AZF facilities.THE PENINSULA

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