Posted on March 24, 2016

The College of Arts and Sciences’ Sport Science Program has recently held the inauguration ceremony of the 2016 edition of the ISAFA, the International Science and Football Association event - 19 -25 March.  The 2nd ISAFA conference has attracted 61 abstracts; 41 abstracts are presented orally and 20 as posters, including young investigators forum. 

The opening of the 7 full days event was attended by the Vice President for Student Affairs   Dr. Khalid Mohamed Al-Khanji, the Turkish Ambassador in Qatar H.E Mr. Ahmet Demirok, CAS Dean Dr. Eiman Mustafawi CAS Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, Chair of the ISAFA, Qatar Olympic Committee Professorial, Chair in Sport Science Program Dr. Monèm Jemni, Director of Sport Science Programme Dr Ruben GoebelThe whole week event of ISAFA 2016 in Qatar  provides the opportunity to students and delegates to interact first-hand with world-leading coaches and scientists speakers and more importantly with each other and share their experience.

In his speech on behalf of QU President Dr. Hassan Rashid Al Derham, Dr. Khalid Al-Khanji said: “QU is always proud of leading the way to cutting edge events, where academics and scientists could share best practices and apply their theories to impact societies and the end users. The ISAFA 2016 is with no exception, a unique event, where academics gathered from different parts of the globe will be exchanging their knowledge to building the future generation of football professionals and modelling the coming stars in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and beyond. This phenomenal occasion is yet another milestone on the university’s path to fulfill Qatar’s sports-related needs outlined in the National Vision 2030 and the Sport Sector Strategy 2011-2016.

QU, its stakeholders and partners in association with the ISAFA has put together, not one or two days programme but a colossal full week with morning, afternoon and event evening sessions, where above mentioned is going to happen. For that, I would say VERY WELL INDEED to the organising and the scientific committee for their efforts, I’m quite sure this was not a simple task”.

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The ISAFA acts in this domain. Its mission is to “To share science-based knowledge around football between scientists, technicians, medicals and field practitioners”. During this week, we will witness a close collaboration, network and exchange of practices and knowledge between the attendees and the tutors. It focuses on the scientific aspects behind football and to render this sport mostly based on clear science-based sport to creating champions. There is no doubt that many sports, such as, athletics, swimming, cycling, motor sports and so on have taken advantage of scientists’ input in order to break records with milliseconds…. It is time for the football sector to take more advantage of these sciences in to progress.

The Turkish Ambassador said: “I’m very pleased to see such an important event organized at QU as the State of Qatar drives its preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  I’m looking forward to getting  the recommendations of ISAFA  into reality”. Dr. Seif Al Neimi said “ The participation of the Qatar Olympic Academy Conference came to support the development of action sports in the academic field Olympic considering that the vision of the academy and a message since its foundation seeks to promote the image of Qatar as a pioneer of the sport in the region, thanks to its track record of hosting tournaments and sports sessions and to be an active partner in the development of sports and Olympic movement Arab and local level through a combination of quality courses and programs offered in the annual agenda to be one of the most prestigious in the region, Olympic Academics.

CAS Dean Dr. Eiman  said  “As home to Qatar’s only undergraduate program in Sport Science, the College of Arts and Sciences is truly honored to host the International Science and Football As­sociation’s Workshop and Conference (ISAFA). This occasion is yet an­other milestone on the college’s path to fulfill Qatar’s sports-related needs outlined in the National Vision 2030, the Sport Sector Strategy 2011-2016, and the plans for hosting FIFA Football World Cup 2022. By bringing together the nation’s leading institutions such as the Qatar Football Association (QFA), Qatar Stars League (QSL), ASPETAR, ASPIRE, Anti-Doping Lab Qatar (ADLQ) to make this event an outstanding success for football in Qatar and the region, we continue to press ahead on our quest to train and educate a new generation of graduates that are well-equipped to serve as local sports specialists and to initiate important societal changes in terms of lifestyle and health awareness. Hence, I would like to thank the conference’s organizing committee in the Sport Science Program for their outstanding work and dedication to bringing ISAFA to Qatar University for its first installation in the Middle East. There is no doubt that the presentations and work­shops over the next few days will leave and lasting impact on our students, faculty members, and wider community”.

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Dr. Rubin said: We are proud that one year planning and organizing is unfolding its unique event for Qatar and the region.  Approximately 150 delegates and participants will share their knowledge and experience, and therefore bringing some of the best practitioners together with the best scientists specialized in football in one event. This does showcase Qatar University’s and in particular the Sport Science Program’s firm mandate to train, empower and support the young talented football coaches and researchers with the necessary knowledge and skillset to build outstanding new generation of experts not only in Qatar but worldwide.

Dr. Jemni said: The 2016 edition of the ISAFA has for the first time ever gathered all the major sporting and science institutions in Qatar as one family to delivering seven full days of Football and Science. It is for the first time that the ISAFA is being organized in an Arabic country. The week included practical workshops, theoretical lectures, applied seminars, clinics, and two full days of research outputs. These have taken place in several locations: the football stadium, the research complex lecture theatre, Aspire Academy, and at the virtual reality lab in QU.

This edition has seen the launch of new awards in Qatar, thanks to close collaboration with the QFA and QSL. These were the ISAFA special media awards 2015-16. We hope these awards would continue in the future as to shed some light on those who work in the back stages.