Aspire Summit

Tales of success from the Aspire Global Summit

The sixth edition of the Aspire Academy Global Summit was held virtually and featured inspirational talks from diverse speakers.

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Tales of success from the Aspire Global Summit

The attendees at the virtual summit, in its sixth edition, held in Doha, praised the diverse speakers and the wealth of experience they shared to inspire the 200 members of the Aspire in the World Fellows community, together with representatives of nearly 50 clubs and national sporting confederations.

At the event, five elite athletes from different disciplines, shared – with 15 minutes talks - their uplifting and inspiring experiences, along with a presentation of the results of an investigation carried out by the Aspire in the World Fellows.

Walter de Salvo, executive director of the summit gave the inaugural speech: “We give a warm welcome to football experts from 50 club clubs and national confederations to this exceptional event that has been organised in very different circumstances to what we are used to. Meeting virtually demonstrates the power, faith and the class of the Aspire in the World Fellows, which we have sponsored and promoted since it started in 2014.

“The 2021 event will be called ‘Aspire Fellows Meet Other Sports” and is aimed at tapping into the resources acquired from the concept of sharing experiences of other sports with the Aspire Fellows, while the 2022 edition will be called ‘Aspire Fellows in the World Cup’, through which we will make the most of our efforts around the event with the aim of developing football science.

Vialli: talent is not the most important thing for an athlete

Former Italian international player Gianluca Vialli took part in the summit, sharing his personal experiences of talent, leadership and failure.

Vialli, who turned his passion for football into a professional career, said about setbacks: “I was depressed for weeks, I cried, I was angry and felt insecure, but later, and after talking with a friend of mine, I realised I needed to be honest with myself and self-analytical; I knew I’d made mistakes, I accepted them and then I understood that errors are part of the process, there is no complete failure, just setbacks, and you must remember you’ll come back stronger after each one.”

Talking about the disappointments that can come from being in charge of a football team, the Italian said, “if they haven’t sacked you once then you weren’t a boss”, adding, “talent is a gift, but it’s not the most important part of the life of an athlete – it is the process of nurturing that gift that is more important.

Bebe Vio: inspiration for people with disabilities

In her speech Bebe Vio, Paralympic fencing gold medallist, explained how she and her fellow paralympians are working together to inspire a new generation of athletes so they can find the potential that lies within each and every one of them.

Vio, the only wheelchair fencer in the world who competes with no forearms or legs, spoke about internal strength and motivation: “40% of my body is technology, I started fencing when I was very young and when I was 11 I had meningitis and everything changed, except for my family who have been the most important thing in my life and career.”

Also present was Jean-Charles Trouabal, former relay world champion, who spoke, based on his own experiences during his career, about the importance of team work and its advantages.

“The best relay team were the British who had won the 100m and 200m, but we were able to beat them thanks to previous defeats of sprinters such as Linford Christie and John Regis; at times the US team led by Carl Lewis was the best individually, but we focused on building a team with strong foundations based on collaboration, team work and trust which allowed us to set the world record. It all started with our coach who was really focused on the data and told us we could break the record if worked hard enough…”