Posted on January 28, 2018

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has successfully concluded a series of workshops to prepare Qatar’s team of kite flyers as they gear up to take part in the 2nd Aspire International Kite Festival for the first time. This unique sporting spectacle, now in its second year, takes place from March 6 to 9 at Aspire Park. The two-day workshops and training sessions were delivered by the international kite flying expert Gadis Widiyati Riyadi, Secretary of the International ASEAN Kite Council and the Singapore Kite Association.

Commenting on the current preparations for the launch in March, Mrs. Kholoud Al Hail, Chairperson of the Event’s Organising Committee said: “Our preparations are intensifying. This is necessary because the second edition of the Kite Festival will see double the number of international teams and local schools take part. The success of last year’s event means we have ten teams returning to Doha this year.” “Participants of the previous edition highlighted that the uniqueness of our International Kite Festival is that it offers morning and evening sessions allowing additional time for kite flying along with inter-school competitions. The event also attracts huge numbers of families and children of all nationalities in Qatar. All these elements combined and the diversity of the audience and participants makes Aspire Kite Festival a unique event”, Al-Hail said.

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“As soon as we had wrapped up the first edition, we approached the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to invite all schools to partake in the 2018 festival. We organised workshops for the children and also for teachers so that they could get their students excited about kite flying. We also focused on art teachers who can inspire their young students to express their creative side. And we have increased the numbers of competition prizes this year to encourage as many students as possible to take part in kite flying activities that combine artistic and sporting elements,” she added.

“We want to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. This event is an open invitation for everyone to turn off their electronic devices and enjoy the great outdoors and a lively atmosphere. Visitors to Aspire Park can also enjoy the country’s first kinetic wind decoration. Qatar is now the fourth country to host this beautiful spectacle after the USA, Russia and China. It represents 'the colors of the world' and embraces the maroon and white flag of Qatar”, she concluded. The team representing Qatar includes a combination of talented locals and residents. In the coming days they will select six members to comprise the core team that will represent Qatar during the second Aspire International Kite Festival and potentially represent the country in other international kite festivals overseas.

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The two-day workshop which held over the weekend combined theory and practical aspects related to kite flying. The sessions covered the history of kites and how they have influenced technological developments, the early uses of kites in Asia and Europe, how these have grown to encompass applications ranging from studying the weather, lifting antenna for radio links and pulling canoes across the English Channel, and how they have paved the way for modern-day drones. Prior to the start of the practical training sessions, the trainer explained to the participants the different types of kites that are available and the role of aerodynamics and physics in their design and structure. She also explained how the usage of modern materials and tools has changed the face of this recreational sport.

Qatar’s team captain Saud Al-Muhannadi revealed that the team's preparations for the tournament began last year and grew out of a strong desire to participate in the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm for kite flying in Qatar that followed the success of the first festival. He said: "We invite all young people and residents who are interested in joining the team to come forward. The door is open to help us build a strong team with the necessary abilities, skills and commitment to work together and have fun.” Another participant, Amr Muhammad said: "Participating in these workshops has been an ideal opportunity for people to develop their artistic skills. I’ve signed up because I really wanted to experience something different and special. I expect the festival to be like a theatre in the sky, and one which offers unlimited creative opportunities to people."

The Aspire International Kite Festival has become a milestone success in Aspire Zone's annual events calendar. It reflects the organisation’s capabilities and expertise in delivering a unique combination of sports and entertainment by attracting more than 40,000 visitors last year who enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere at Aspire Park.