Women’s Volleyball to Open Aspire Ramadan SF

Doha, July 22 (QNA) - The opening match of the women's volleyball competition, starting at 9pm Sunday at the Ladies Sports Hall, will set the ball rolling for Aspire Zone Foundation's (AZF) Ramadan Sports Festival.
 The sports festival has grown considerably since the inaugural event in 2011 and this year's edition caters to the entire community.
 Due to the popular demand, a number of women's sports events have been added into this year's programme, organisers said.
 "The new additions are a testament to the increasing interest in women's sports in Qatar and a demonstration of Aspire Zone's ongoing commitment to encourage females to take part in sports activities, a AZF spokesperson said.
 The three-week event includes men's football, men s basketball, women s basketball, women s squash, and women s volleyball.
 Amalia Delrosario, a volleyball player from the Angry Birds team, praised the inclusion of women in the tournament.
 "I play in a league in Qatar and this year's Ramadan Sports Festival is a great opportunity for us as women to show that we are interested in sports, too. It's an extra bonus to be able to use the fantastic facilities at Aspire Zone," Delrosario told Gulf Times.
 The highly-anticipated games are all set to put on a thrilling display as both last year's football champions and the Doha Jam street basketball tournament s recent winners, the Homeboys, will be returning to compete.
 Supporters have the opportunity to come and cheer their favourite teams and players. Matches will be staged across the Aspire Zone precinct, including the Outdoor Pitches and the Outdoor Warm-Up Track facility (men s football), Aspire Dome (men's basketball), and the Ladies Sports Hall and Ladies Club (women s basketball, volleyball, and squash).
 There are interesting prizes to motivate the participants. Prizes on offer include tablets, iPads and iPods, and packages to stay at the TORCH Doha Hotel.
 Meanwhile, representatives of the 16 football teams that have qualified for the Ramadan Sports Festival tournament met last week to discuss the upcoming event, Gulf Times daily reported.
 Alongside football captains, official representatives and referees discussed the rules and regulations, as well as the schedule of events. It also gave the team representatives the opportunity to size up the opposition for the first time.
 In attendance were last year s football winners, Njoum Samba, returning to the competition determined to hold on to their title.
 "We are very excited to be here again after such a successful tournament last year. We have some new players on the team who will be bringing some fresh talent. We are really hoping to win again this year," said team representative Jaber al-Hajjaji.
The teams expressed their excitement in the upcoming tournament.
Hamad Saeed from the Al Osoud team said, "This is my first time competing in the Ramadan Sports Festival. I' m looking forward to sharing this experience with teammates. I would love to participate in more events like this."
 "We can t wait for the tournament to begin and hopefully take home first place. We have had a great time participating so far, and we hope to see more activities like this throughout the year,"  said Moayad Mar i, a player from the Al Mexico team.
 The schedule of the matches are as following:
* Volleyball (Women) from July 22 to July 30
* Basketball (Men) July 25 to August 5
* Football (Men) July 28 to August 8
* Basketball (Women) July 31 to August 8
* Squash (Women) August 5 to 9. (QNA)

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