Aspire Academy and SAP Partner to Drive Qatar’s Youth Athletic Development

Monday 06 June 2016

Doha - MENA Herald: Aspire Academy, one of the world’s leading youth athlete academies, and the global technology company SAP have decided to work together to drive Qatar’s youth sports development programs, thanks to a partnership announced today.

The Aspire Academy coaches, sport scientists, athletes, and management will be able to easily access real-time data on athlete performance development, sports science, and sports operations management on any mobile devices, supporting global best practices in youth athlete development.

On one platform, users can access data such as match results, development summaries, competition plans, and sports science profiles from Aspire Academy’s clubs and leagues. Aspire Academy and SAP will also explore innovations in feedback visualisation, predictive analytics, and cognitive training.

According to a recent study by the University of Toronto, the global sports analytics market is set to grow from USD $125 million in 2014 to USD $4.7 billion in 2021, which demonstrates a strong potential for the partnership.

“Aspire Academy is at the forefront of transforming youth development with analytics, as coaches can optimize line-ups on tablets, players can review match highlights on smartphones, and trainers can track player fitness and fatigue. Co-innovating with Aspire Academy will leverage global best practices in sports analytics and science, starting from the development level,” said Stefan Wagner, Senior Vice President and Global General Manager of the Sports & Entertainment Industry at SAP.

The partnership is being called the world’s first national sports academy to sign with a global technology company. Aspire Academy aims to become the world’s leading youth sports academy by 2020 and is expanding with the launch of Qatar’s first national centre for football in 2017.

Qatar is rapidly developing its national teams in line with becoming a global sporting hub, as the country is hosting the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Qatar has high expectations for sport, but a small talent pool. By becoming a global leader in data management and analytics using SAP HANA, Aspire will continue to deliver unparalleled coaching and training for Qatari youth, and players across our worldwide network of clubs, in order to develop Qatar’s sporting culture and competitive sporting advantage,” said Markus Egger, Director of Strategy at Aspire Academy.

SAP will share expertise from its SAP Sports One solutions in Big Data analytics, which has been used by the German National Football team to help win the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Clubs and leagues co-innovating with SAP include City Football Group, FC Bayern Munich, and TSG Hoffenheim among others.

Aspire Academy a Symbol of Qatar’s Ambition

Since opening its doors in 2004, Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence has become one of the foremost national sports academies in the world. Working as part of the Aspire Zone Foundation - an international sport destination - Aspire Academy is at the heart of a sporting revolution currently taking place in Qatar and around the region.

The Academy is conceiving, promoting and implementing game-changing excellence in sports training and elite athlete development that is enabling an entire generation of talented, disciplined and committed individuals, both Qataris and internationals to pursue their sports dreams.

The ambition of the Academy – that has also been used as training facility by some of the world’s top coaches and athletes - is to become the world’s leading youth sports academy by 2020, and several successes on the international sports stage reflect the organisations rapid progress since it was established.

Qatar’s U-19 national team is the reigning AFC Champion from Myanmar, 2014, participated at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and the U-23 reached the semi-finals of the Asian Cup for the first time in 32 years. All of these football teams were 100% represented by Aspire student-athletes and graduates. In athletics, three graduates - Mutaz Barshim (2012 Olympic Bronze medalist), Ashraf El Seify (two-time world junior Hammer Throw champion) and Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (800m) – most recently qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Due to its small talent pool from which to create elite athletes, Aspire’s talent development programs have a globally unique footprint to create its source of competitive advantage. The world class facilities, technologies, sports and science experts, networks and partners place the institution at the top of its field in youth sports development internationally.

Aspire owns football clubs in Belgium and Spanish leagues as well as being a founding partner of ASIA (Association of Sports Institutes in Asia); all with the purpose of developing home-grown Qatari talent into world champions.

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