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Kuwaiti swimming stars enjoy youth training camp in Qatar
July 2, 2014, 10:05 am
Participants relish rich learning and cultural experience as Qatar takes centre stage in Swimming during 2014

Two of Kuwait’s up and coming future swimming stars, Hassan Al Qallaf and Abdullah Al-Tarmoum, have been enjoying an experience of a lifetime at a ten day Asian Swimming Youth Camp in Doha, Qatar, as the Gulf state prepares to welcome to Swimming World in 2014.

Organised by the Qatar Swimming Association alongside the Olympic Council Asia, Qatar National Olympic Committee and FINA, the camp has brought together some of Asia’s most promising talent with the Kuwaiti future champions joining their coach and over 90 swimmers and coaches from 30 nations as the city gets ready to host the FINA Swimming World Cup in August, FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and FINA Aquatic Convention in December 2014.

The Doha training camp was designed to bring together and inspire young athletes from emerging swimming nations with the aim of helping them achieve their ambitions in the sport, with athletes from as far away as China, Thailand, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan all represented alongside the elite juniors from Kuwait.

Leading officials from Olympic Council Asia and technical experts from FINA were also in attendance and acknowledged the importance of developing the next generation of swimmers as well as the excellent organization of the camp and use of the state of the art facilities in Qatar.

Beyond having access to elite coaching the Kuwaiti duo had the opportunity to train at the capital’s Hamad Aquatics Centre, the venue which staged the Asian Games in 2006 and is set to play host to the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) from 3-7 December, 2014. In addition the swimmers and their coaches had the opportunity to visit the Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar, a world-class facility providing doping testing for athletes across the Gulf and Asia and the only one of its kind in the Middle East region. Following the laboratory visit, they were given a comprehensive tour of Doha’s major landmarks and sample the rich local culture with a tour of the Qatar Islamic Museum.

Young athlete Hassan Al Qallaf said; “It is always good to be here in Doha. I have visited this city many times to attend swimming competitions and have been impressed every time. During this visit, I was very pleased with the new swimming facilities and the organization of the camp in general. During the camp, I focused on improving my endurance and technique. The world class coaches have definitely helped me achieve my goal. I feel that this camp has helped prepare me for my upcoming swimming challenges throughout this year. I look forward to returning to Doha soon.”

Commenting on the successful camp, Khalil Al Jaber, President of Qatar Swimming Association, said: “2014 is the year of swimming in Doha and as we build toward two major championships and a major convention the excitement and preparations have already started with important initiatives such as this training camp. On behalf of the swimming community of Qatar, we are delighted to have been able to welcome so many enthusiastic young swimmers especially two very ambitious athletes from Kuwait. We want these future stars to return to Doha one day to compete and hope they’ll tell others of Qatar’s support for swimming. The facilities we have here in Doha are world class and it has been great to share these with young talent from across Asia and see Hamad Aquatic Centre come alive this month just as it will again in August for the World Cup. We hope the Asian Swimming Youth Camp has excited and inspired our Kuwaiti guest to continue in their training towards competing internationally and we look forward to seeing them continue to progress.”

The Asian Swimming Youth Camp is just one of many world-class swimming events in Qatar this year. The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will take place in Doha for the first time in 2014, showcasing the country’s growing commitment to swimming and building further to Qatar’s proud record as a successful host of major international sporting events.

The Hamad Aquatic Centre, a facility at the heart of Doha Sports City which has previously held the 2006 Asian Games and the 2012 and 2013 FINA Swimming World Cups, will welcome over 1000 elite swimmers representing over 180 countries for five days of competition.

FINA technical coaching expert, James Fowlie from Australia said: “Across Asia countries have put in place world-class facilities including Kuwait but swimming needs more than facilities. If swimming wants to be a world sport then courses like this are vital. Top quality coaches are required and working to improve coaching is a focus this week so it’s great to give guidance to coaches. The future growth of the sport depends on having quality coaches and it’s hugely commendable that Qatar is showing such initiative to host this event.”

In the build-up to the championship Doha will play host to the FINA Swimming World Cup, Doha (27-28 August 2014) as well as the 3rd FINA Aquatics Convention (November 29 - 1 December 2014) directly ahead of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships.

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