Posted on May 22, 2019

An unprecedented 23 members of the Doha College community represented Qatar in the recent West Asia Rugby Championship. Current students, members of staff and alumni were involved as players or coaches, each contributing to the fabulous success that Qatar enjoyed at the tournament.

Doha College teacher Sam Spencer and Year 13 student Diego Mayz were selected for the men’s A team, who clinched the winning trophy. Year 12 student Andrea Delascasas Arbelaez played in Qatar women’s B team, which was coached by DC mathematics teacher Grainne Burness. Alumna Yasmine Tobun played for the women’s A team, who also emerged victorious in the women’s tournament.

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An impressive 12 students were selected for the U18 team (full 15-a-side), three for the U16 team and three for the U14 team (7-a-side and 10-a-side for each). Ross Nelson, aged just 15, is the youngest player ever to have been selected to play in the U18 team. He gave us an insight into what this meant to him: “This selection was a huge honour to me; there are no words to describe this great privilege. Being an U15 playing in the U18 category brought not only fear but a great sense of responsibility, as I had to uphold my role on the field to the same standard of players three years older than me. I usually play for the Doha Rugby Football Club U15s, training five times a week. No matter whom I play for, be it DRFC, Qatar, Doha College or Ireland, I play with the same pride and to the best of my ability.”

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Doha College has a great rugby tradition and a growing history of national selections. Alumnus Tom Ayling and Vice-Principal Neil Thomas were selected in 2016, four female students and five male students represented Qatar in 2018 in different championships, and now in 2019, 23 have proudly donned the maroon shirts. DC has produced internationals not only in rugby but also in sports as diverse as golf (Jacub Hrinda, Mikkel Per Mathiesen), line dance (Zara Dunn) and fencing (Adam Zaki). Focus on fitness and sports has always been a priority at Doha College, whose curriculum includes PE and swimming at all levels. The school enjoys a close collaboration with its sports academy Evolution; since 2017 it offers a BTEC Diploma in sports coaching, while several alumni have taken sports scholarships at prestigious universities. 

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