As sporting fever spreads across the country ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 later this month, Oryx International School (OIS) had the opportunity to participate in an athletics workshop aimed at children aged 10-15 years old.

The workshop saw 75 students from OIS take part in a number of disciplines, competing to be crowned the winner in a one-day sporting spectacular created by Qatar Airways, Aspire Academy and the Local Organising Committee for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

As part of the activities, OIS students took part in Aspire Academy’s Talent Identification Program, aimed at educating the students on some of the skills and attributes required to be an elite athlete. Established in 2004, Aspire has since produced a number of high-performance athletes for Team Qatar such as Olympian and World Champion Mutaz Barshim (High Jump), Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (800m) and Ashraf El-Seify (Hammer Throw). They will also be competing at the IAAF World Athletic Championships later this month.

Qatar Airways’ Oryx Kid Club Mascots Orry’ and ‘Orah’ the Oryx and IAAF Doha 2019 Mascot Falah the Falcon presented students with gift bags to remember the day, and as an added bonus Qatar Airways provided each student with tickets to the Championships to experience seeing the world’s best athletes compete.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ms. Salam Al Shawa, said: “We are delighted to bring the excitement of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 to the students at Oryx International School. Sport is a key pillar of the long-term vision of the State of Qatar, and as the National Airline Partner of the Championships, we welcome these opportunities to showcase how sport can support the development of our future generations and bring people together from around the world."

Sheikha Asma Al Thani, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Local Organising Committee, commented: “Through the enthusiasm and excitement of our partners for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, we have been able to spread that excitement into our communities with a memorable day for young sports fans to compete and learn more about the competition.

“I thank our partners for helping to celebrate the Championships in what is a truly historical sporting moment for the whole of Qatar.”

Head of ASPIRE National Talent Identification Program, Mr. Anthony Hazeldine, said: “The students always enjoy being tested with the same physical tests that many of the athletes competing at the IAAF World Athletics Championships would have done in their youth. Probably because there is no right or wrong answer to these tests, it’s mostly about their own effort and determination. The students were amazed when we raised the bar on the vertical jump test to show them how high Mutaz Barshim could jump at their age. Through the testing they gained an appreciation for the amazing efforts that Qatar’s very own athletes have achieved over a relatively short time.”

Oryx International School Executive Principal, Mr. Derek Laidlaw, said: “We are delighted to have been afforded this opportunity by the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, Qatar Airways and Aspire Academy. This event will offer insight into the world of athletics, sport science and also test our students’ sporting endurance. Oryx students come from more than 90 different countries, reflecting our and Qatar Airways’ global diversity and how this can be united though sport.”

As a national partner, Qatar Airways will help fly in over 3,500 athletes, coaches and technical officials for the ten-day event which gets underway on Friday 27 September at Khalifa International Stadium.