Doha, 7 March 2023 - Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU)’s College of Science and Engineering (CSE) and Qatar University (QU) co-hosted the launch of the fourth World Association for Sport Management (WASM) Conference at the QU’s College of Education campus.
This is the first edition of WASM to be held in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
Held under the patronage of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, the conference – which runs until March 8 – kicked off with opening remarks from Shura Council member and first vice-president of the QOC, Mohamed bin Yousef Abudelrahman Almana, EU ambassador to Qatar Dr Cristian Tudor, HE the Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Hassan al-Thawadi, HBKU president Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham, dean of the College of Education at QU Sheikha Dr Hessa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and WASM president Prof Karen Danylchuk.
The conference is being held under the theme Bringing the World Together: Global and Local Perspectives on Sport Management, featuring several distinguished speakers, including FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser al-Khater, Dr Mezna al-Marzooqi (director-general of the Leaders Development Institute of Saudi Arabia’s ministry of sport), and Dr Holger Preuss, professor of sport economics and sport sociology at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.
Almana said in his introductory speech: “This international conference is being held in Doha, the world capital of sports, and a hub of international sporting events in the world, providing a valuable opportunity to explore the latest international and regional trends of the sports industry.”
Dr al-Derham said: “This conference is taking place in Qatar a few months after the FIFA World Cup 2022, the first mega sport event to be held in the Mena region which, considering the organisation, mobilisation and logistics behind it, the venues, the enthusiasm on and off the pitch, the performance of national teams and number of goals, number of viewers – was a significant milestone for the whole region.”
“The fourth WASM conference brings together local and global perspectives on sport and the future of sporting events,” said Dr Hasnah. “Qatar’s successful hosting of the world’s largest football tournament was the ultimate success story, proving to the international community that the Arab world and the local community can carry out such historic events.”
“Its legacy holds insights we can learn from, and helps Doha continue to position itself as not just as a place where athletes gather to compete, but where sport professionals can meet to exchange ideas,” he added.
“At the HBKU, our Sport and Entertainment Management programme aims to equip our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on significant positions in the sport industry, thus driving the progress of knowledge in this area,” Dr Hasnah said.
Prof Danylchuk spoke about the formation of the WASM in her speech: “The mission for the WASM is to facilitate sport management research, teaching and learning excellence and professional practice worldwide.”
“The WASM represents the collective goals of the six regional members, and the conference represents one of the primary areas of focus,” she said.
“This year’s conference theme, Bringing the World Together: Global and Local Perspectives on Sport Management, is both timely and critical,” said Sheikha Dr Hessa. “We believe that sports values are a major part of social well-being, which involves building a harmonious society that is formed by co-operative, interconnected and responsible individuals.”
“Because coaching is teaching – the art of coaching is crucial in sports management and physical education – as learners are equipped with knowledge and skills necessary to succeed the industry,” she said.
During the opening, HE al-Thawadi delivered a video message describing the legacies achieved following Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup, which was followed by a panel discussion led by Prof Danylchuk.
The conference focuses on sport business practices, issues, networking, collaborations, management and marketing of global sport business, and offers a platform for the international exchange of ideas, best practices and scientific inquiries.
It attracts experts and professionals to share expertise and present research on contemporary topics within the global sport business industry, ranging from sport marketing, events and tourism, governance and social responsibility, and other sectors.