Doha: From former international gymnastics federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi to his successor Morinari Watanabe, everybody heaped praises on the Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) for its positive attitude.
While Doha gets ready to host the 2018 FIG Artistic World Championships next year, we caught up with QGF President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi, who is also one of the seven FIG Executive Committee members, to share his views with the readers.
He spoke to www.qatargym.com about a variety of topics including the QGF’s development programmes and 2018 Worlds.
How’ll the 2018 Artistic World Championships help popularise the sport in Qatar?
It’ll be a good opportunity to develop the sport not only in the country, but also in the region.
A World Championships attract youngsters, and I’m confident that more parents will be encouraged to send their kids to take up gymnastics. We’ve observed how the annual FIG Artistic World Cup Series has encouraged the parents to register their children at our training centres.
Tell us something about next year’s FIG World Championships in Doha.
We’re quite excited, but at the same time want to produce another successful event. It’ll be held at the Aspire Dome from October 25to November 3. The competition will also boost sports tourism and showcase Qatar’s excellent organisational qualities. The preparations have begun, but it will become full swing after we get back from the Montreal Worlds. We recently had a LOC meeting where we had discussed the future plan of action.
How’s the QGF’s development programmes shaping up?
We’re here to promote gymnastics, and working really hard to make it mandatory at all schools. We’ve a good bunch of young boys and girls, who’ve done well at the GCC and Arab Championships. But our goal is to win medal at top international competitions.
Can Qatar produce a world-class gymnast?
Some of the juniors are quite talented, but we need the support of QOC and parents. Without them, it’s impossible. If we’ve a special education programme in the schools, Qatar can produce lot of good gymnasts.