Faculty from the VCU Center for Sport Leadership are in Doha, Qatar, presenting a week-long sports management strategies seminar to members of the Qatar Olympic Committee. The program is taking place at the Qatar Olympic Academy in partnership with the Qatar Foundation & Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Executive Education Center.
Our final session of our seminar with the Qatar Olympic Committee was a microcosm of the entire week: an exchanging of ideas, best practices and insightful conversation that left participants and instructors feeling hopeful and inspired.
Brendan Dwyer started the day with a discussion about mega-events. Qatar is scheduled to host several major sporting events in the coming years including the IAAF World Championships in 2019 and the 2022 World Cup.
Carrie LeCrom followed with a topic she knows well: sport for development. Carrie led a discussion about the social impact sport can make and relayed how she has seen it occur all over the world through her work with the U.S. Department of State Sports Diplomacy program.
For the final hour, members of the Qatar Olympic Committee asked questions to the CSL faculty, getting some clarity and insight on the variety of topics covered over the last five days. Then, the instructors asked some final questions to the participants. We learned a great deal from the QOC, a dedicated organization that is committed to sport at the highest level. Their motto of “Sport for Life” is something all countries should embrace.
QOC Secretary General Jassim Rashid Al-Bueinain attended the final session, along with Qatar Olympic Academy Executive Director Saif Mohammad Al-Naemi. A ceremony was held where each participant received a certificate of completion from the Secretary General. Each of the CSL faculty were also presented with a certificate of appreciation for their cooperation.
As a final gesture of appreciation to the participants, we gave each one of them a VCU soccer scarf, which they draped proudly around them. We told them they are now part of Ram Nation.
We offer a final thank you to Qatar Foundation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Rodolph Boughaba, Executive Director of HBKU Executive Education Center, who have been invaluable in their support and guidance. Thank you also to Qatar Olympic Academy, a very gracious host.
Our hope is to return to conduct similar sessions with the QOC as the implement their strategic plan over the next few years. We learned a great deal from this experience, especially about the people of Qatar and we consider ourselves fortunate to call them friends.
Note: Qatar Foundation’s HBKU conducted an analysis to assess demand in Qatar for courses that specifically address the topics and tactics of sports management. Having identified a clear need, HBKU worked directly with VCU’s internationally ranked sports management program to facilitate the course.