Ground-breaking initiatives announced to launch Doha GOALS 2013

Four life-changing initiatives were announced at the launch of Doha GOALS 2013 this morning. They included a Sport Fields Initiative, a program to give children around the world access to prosthetics, a fund ‘from the athletes to the athletes’ to support them and their families when suffering from sustained injuries as well as during post-retirement, and an international U15s football championships to take place in Qatar.

Doha GOALS is a call to action for policymakers, NGOs, corporations and athlete’s alike taking place from December 9-11 at the Aspire Zone, Doha. The initiatives were inspired by some of the 456 ideas put forward by members of the Forum last year.

H.E. Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al Thani, Executive Director of Doha GOALS, and Richard Attias, Executive Producer of Doha GOALS, announced the four initiatives in front of more than 1,000 participants at the event:

Initiative 1: Doha GOALS Sport Fields Initiative

  • Doha GOALS, in partnership with local authorities, will build combined football and basketball fields in different cities around the world in order to provide free access to sport facilities for local communities, particularly underprivileged youth
  • The first locations for the sports fields will be Port Gentil (Gabon), Nablus (Palestine), Mazar-e-Sharif (Afghanistan) and an MOU has been signed with the three cities
  • NGOs and institutions on the ground will administer and maintain the fields and create community programs for the local youth

Initiative 2: Doha GOALS Prosthetics Programme

  • Quality prosthetics are expensive and a lack of mobility impedes participation in sports and in the community and isolates amputees in these countries
  • Working with the Katarina Witt Foundation, Doha GOALS will provide the opportunity for children around the world to get access to prosthetics
  • Ambassadors supporting the programme will include current French and US Open Wheelchair Tennis champion Stephane Houdet and three-time ChineseParalympic gold medallist Hou Bin

Initiative 3: Doha GOALS Sport Solidarity Fund

  • To set up a multimillion-dollar international Sport Solidarity Fund ‘from the athletes to the athletes’ to support athletes and their families when suffering from sustained injuries as well as during post-retirement and will focus on four areas:
  • The fund will provide funding for counselling and consulting services for current professional athletes and their families to prepare them for retirement
  • Post career angel fund: finance for business ideas and ventures for retiring athletes
  • Private sector partnerships: to create internships and training programs for retired athletes
  • Health fund: health and rehabilitation services for injured athletes
  • Education fund: scholarships for educational programs for retired athletes and opportunities for mentorship

Initiative 4: International U15s Championships

  • Aspire Academy and La Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) will sign a MoU to organize an International U-15 Football Championship
  • The tournament will take place from April 11-14 at the Aspire Zone and will be supported by Doha GOALS and will feature 10 young football teams from the top clubs in Europe and two Qatari teams


Following the announcements, the official signing of the Doha GOALS Sport Fields Initiative to Afghanistan, Gabon and Palestine took place with H.E. Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al ThaniRichard AttiasH.E.Ghassan W.Shakaa, Mayor of Nablus Municipality, Gabriel Ntougou – Advisor, President of the Republic of Gabon and Mohammad Jan – Deputy Mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Last night the Ministers of Sport and representatives of sports bodies from over 20 countries gathered in Doha to discuss the important role played by sport to promote innovation, economic growth, social inclusion and cohesion for the Doha GOALS Sports Ministers Summit.

While today, Sir Ronald Flanagan, Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit, and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble took part in an expert panel discussing corruption in sport at Doha GOALS 2013.

Other speakers at the 2013 forum include:

Hamza Abdullah, NFL player, formerly Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (USA)

Boris Becker, Partner, Becker Private Office (Germany)

Hou Bin, triple Paralympic champion, high jump (China)

Ato Boldon, former world champion sprinter, and former Senator (Trinidad and Tobago)

Nadia Comaneci, triple Olympic champion, gymnastics (Romania)

Bart Conner, Olympic champion gymnast (USA)

Hicham el Guerrouj, world record holder, 1500m, 1600m and outdoor 2000m (Morocco)

Tony Hawk, 12-time world champion skateboarder and Founder, Tony Hawk Foundation (USA)

Kelly Holmes, double Olympic champion 1500m and 800m and Founder, DKH Legacy Trust (UK)

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic champion and eight-time Olympic champion sprinter, and Founder, Michael Johnson Performance (USA)

Wilson Kipketer, world record-holder and champion middle-distance runner (Denmark)

Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA player, Houston Rockets (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Hasim Rahman, double world champion heavyweight boxer (USA)

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