Olympic Development Programme
By Hassan Afifi (Team Principal)
Alameda Tri Team's achievements in the past 3 years: 1 Paralympic bronze medal, 2 Olympic participations, multiple Arab and African titles. Our next step: get Arab athletes to become future Olympic and world champions! Here is how...
When we started Alameda Tri Team in 2015, we had two goals in mind: grow the sport of triathlon in the Arab region and develop future Arab champions. These goals are still the same and won't change.
Another element which we have set in stone not to change is our philosophy of inclusion: when we talk about sports and sportspeople, we do not have a specific gender or ability in mind; we want EVERYONE to participate and be able to achieve their goals! So, when we mention Olympics, we actually mean the three main events: Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics.
What has evolved, though, is our approach to how to get to these goals. We have matured significantly, and we now believe that this is the right time to take our ultimate step of focusing on developing the next Olympic and world champions from the Arab region.
With some of the best minds in the sport of triathlon from across the Globe, we have been able to create the ultimate training system and development programme, which we are confident will get us to our goal of seeing some of our athletes at the top of world podiums.
Of course, developing Olympic champions is no easy feat, and takes a lot of time, resources and effort, yet we have one luxury in our team that very few others have: we've been there! From our coaches, to mentors and athletes, the expertise and experience we were able to pool together give us this confidence to recreate these successes right here in the Middle East!
The system that we have created includes all the different parts of developing an athlete:
- Coach training: coaches with the right knowledge, experience, expertise and philosophy are the first obvious key element in the development of athletes.
- Kids academy: starting the kids right in the sport will give them the advantage of becoming the right type of athlete to reach the top of the world!
- High performance programme: fully dedicated to the development of athletes to get them to the top world-class level that we are seeking.
- Experienced guidance: while coaching is the key to the sporting side, day-to-day mentoring from people who have gone through the experience is crucial to ensure the proper development is complete.
With such a big and ambitious goal, and by starting the programme before mid 2018, we have also set out some goals to achieve along the way. Some of these are:
- Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019
- World Triathlon Series (including Abu Dhabi edition) 2019-2024
- Podium positions at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Abu Dhabi 2021
- Podium positions at the Youth Olympic Games 2022
- Podium positions at the Special Olympics World Games 2023
- Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024
How are we going to do this? With such big goals, this cannot be achieved independently. Our Team now has the systems and knowledge to get there, but a broader support from the community is necessary for such ambitions to be achieved. We need athletes, supporters, coaches, official entities, and the broader sports audience to be on board so that our part is as effective as it should be.
We are ready! Are you?!