Doha, Qatar: Doha 2024 ambassadors have been visiting schools in Qatar to inspire the next generation as the first-ever World Aquatics Championships held in the Middle East look set to drive a legacy of aquatic sports participation in the region.
Doha 2024 announced nine ambassadors ahead of the Championships’ inaugural visit to the country, and throughout the Championships, they have been encouraging young people across Qatar to take up aquatic sports through exclusive coaching clinics. Yesterday, former Olympic medallists in swimming Anthony Ervin (USA) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands) ran clinics at different Doha schools, using their expertise to coach young swimmers and to focus on the benefits that taking part in aquatic sports can bring, including leading a healthy lifestyle.
Following his clinic at the Hamilton International School, two-time World Champion Ervin emphasised the importance of children across the region taking up swimming.
He said: “It was inspiring to visit the Hamilton International School and to run a clinic with the pupils in conjunction with the World Aquatics Championships. The children were fully engaged in the session and there may be a couple of future Olympians amongst them! I hope that the children have been inspired because I know first-hand the opportunities that sport can bring in terms of friendships, living a healthy life and the chance to travel and meet the people of the world.”
Kromowidjojo headed to Doha College, where she was joined by Nada Mohamed Wafa, the first Qatari women to compete at the Olympic Games.
She said: “It is incredible to step away from the competition and see the impact that the event is having on children across Doha. The children taking part in the clinic were all engaged with the Championships and I am sure there will be an increase in participation as a direct result of the hosting here.”
Spanish Olympic medallist in artistic swimming Ona Carbonell and Wafa also participated in a question-and-answer session at the Oryx International School on 5 February, where they shared valuable insights into their journeys to becoming Olympians, as well as gifting the students Doha 2024 mascots.