By Armstrong Vas
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Golf Association (QGA) has embarked on a robust youth development program that will encourage young golfers starting at five-year age to pursue their careers in the sport.
The dedicated team of coaches and officials are back after a Coronavirus forced break at the Doha Golf Club, where they train young children from Sunday to Wednesday.
Besides, the QGA has tied up with Aspire Academy to launch a talent hunt in the country.
“We’ve a partnership with Aspire Academy. We meet them for the feedback on the recruitment process for new golf trainees. But the last few months we couldn’t move any headway due to the pandemic,” said Mike Shouriey, Technical Director at QGA.
QCA partnership with Aspire Academy
“The Aspire coaches and officials visit the schools to conduct a battery of tests on 4000 to 5000 students. Based on the test results the list to narrowed down to 250 and finally to around 25 to 40 students, who are selected for sports academies based at the Aspire Academy for a particular year. The 200 odd students who fails to make it to the final list are then approached. They are recruited for golf depending on their interests.”
Besides the juniors, QGA also trains young women while the Qatar national women’s team also go through the grind at the Doha Golf Club.
“We have about six female players playing for Qatar at the international level. It’s not easy to recruit women players but we are in touch with the various entities like Aspire Academy and schools to recruit more female players. The level of play for the females has to pick up as we are trying to get them to a top level where they can compete or maybe turn professionals,” added Shouriey.
For the record, Qataris Jaham Jassim Al Kuwari, Ali Abdulla Al Shahrani, Saleh Ali Al Kaabi and Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Shahrani have already brushed shoulders with some of the top players at the CBQ Qatar Masters in the past.