Doha 2024 ambassadors visit schools to inspire next generation in aquatics. WORLD AQUATICS

Doha 2024 ambassadors have been visiting schools across Qatar to inspire the next generation, as the first-ever World Aquatics Championships to be held in the Middle East aims to create a legacy of participation in aquatics in the region.

Ahead of the Championships' first visit to the Middle East, Doha 2024 announced nine ambassadors. They will encourage young people across Qatar to take up aquatic sports through exclusive coaching clinics and question and answer (Q&A) sessions. On 12 February, former Olympic swimming medallists Anthony Ervin (USA) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands) held clinics at various schools in Doha, using their expertise to coach young swimmers and to focus on the benefits that participation in aquatic sports can bring, including leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Following his clinic at the Hamilton International School, two-time World champion Ervin emphasised: "It was inspiring. The children were totally engaged in the session and there could be some future Olympians among them! I hope they were inspired because I know first hand the opportunities that sport can bring in terms of friendships, a healthy lifestyle and the chance to travel and meet the people from all over the world." 

Anthony Ervin (USA) ran clinics at various schools in Doha. WORLD AQUATICS
Anthony Ervin (USA) ran clinics at various schools in Doha. WORLD AQUATICS

Kromowidjojo went to Doha College, where she met Nada Mohamed Wafa, the first Qatari woman to compete in the Olympic swimming events. "It is incredible to step away from the competition and see the impact that the event is having on children across Doha. The children who attended the clinic were all engaged with the championships and I am sure that participation will increase as a direct result of the hosting them here," she said. 

Spanish artistic swimming Olympic medallists Ona Carbonell and Nada Mohamed Wafa also participated in a Q&A session at the Oryx International School on 5 February, where they gave valuable insights into their journeys to the Olympics and introduced the Doha 2024 mascots to the students. Wafa highlighted: "Navigating the waters of the London 2012 Olympic Games as Qatar's first female swimmer and now as an ambassador for the host country, I've learnt that every stroke counts in the pursuit of excellence and breaking barriers. It's an honour to share my journey with the students of Oryx International School and inspire them to dream big and dive fearlessly into their aspirations." 

Carbonell added: "This is the first time I have been to a World Aquatics Championships as a spectator and ambassador rather than as a competitor. It's exciting to experience it from a different perspective and being there to cheer and support the athletes is very important to me. Talking to the kids has also been great. I have two children and as a mother I know how important it is to be a role model. I really enjoyed my visit to the school". 

Anthony Ervin was very involved in all the activities with children in Doha. WORLD AQUATICS
Anthony Ervin was very involved in all the activities with children in Doha. WORLD AQUATICS

The World Aquatics Championships - Doha 2024 is the 21st edition of the World Aquatics Championships and is being held from 2-18 February. Doha 2024 will bring together more than 2,600 of the world's best athletes from 201 countries to compete in six aquatic sports: swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, artistic swimming and open water swimming. 

The World Championships will also provide athletes with vital qualification opportunities for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Held in three existing and iconic venues - Aspire Dome, Old Doha Port, and Hamad Aquatic Centre - Doha 2024 is providing the very best environment for athletes and an unforgettable experience for spectators. 

Doha 2024 is the first World Aquatics Championships to be held in Qatar and the surrounding region, connecting aquatic sports with a huge untapped audience. The World Aquatics Championships were first organised by World Aquatics in 1973 with the aim of promoting and developing aquatic sports worldwide.