Posted on February 10, 2019

Aspire Academy student-athletes joined students from the International School of London – Qatar (ISLQ), Middle East International School (MIS), and Stafford Sri-Lankan School Doha (SSLSD) over the weekend in a series of debates on topics including poverty and humanitarian issues as part of the AIMS Model United Nations (MUN) Conference.

The MUN Conference, which ran on the 8th and 9th of February, is a popular extra-curricular activity in which students act as representatives of a country at a mock-United Nations conference. Drawing participants from schools in Qatar, it is a programme that aims to develop discussion, negotiation, debating, and inter-personal skills while helping young people contribute to the identification of solutions to the global problems.

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The conference, co-organised by Aspire Academy and the other three schools, who came together to form a group going by the acronym AIMS, offered more than 200 students from 20 schools the opportunity to try their hand at negotiating and debating complex issues with others. Under the overarching theme of ‘Health and wellbeing’, discussion topics included women’s welfare and environmental issues. Commenting on Aspire Academy’s role in educating the future generation of student-athletes on how to become global citizens, Jassem Al-Jaber, Aspire Academy’s School Principal, said: “During the conference, each student had the chance to participate in vibrant debates and group discussions. They simulated how to become Ambassadors representing their nations and voted as if attending a United Nations conference. This will leave a hugely positive impact on their character and is fun to experience as well.”

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“At Aspire Academy, we focus on both the sporting and educational aspects of our student-athletes’ development. We strive to build the character of our students and help them become global citizens who at the same time take pride in their national culture and identity. We have an established life skills programme that offers our students a wide range of activities including training courses, and international humanitarian missions to refugee camps. This builds resilience and empathy, amongst many other skills, that help to underpin future performances such as that demonstrated by the Qatar national team players during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup,” Al-Jaber said.

Meanwhile, Shondale Pagano, teacher and director at Middle East International School, praised the collaboration with Aspire Academy, saying: “It has been a really good experience. We need more students to step up into leadership positions. By doing this type of confidence and competence-building activity, we can embed conscientiousness into the new generation of youth while equipping them to go on and do great things.”

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