Boyds, Md. (12/14/20) – As part of a cultural exchange, a delegation from the Washington Spirit traveled to Qatar on December 12 for a one-week stay. The club will participate in a variety of events that are a part of the U.S.-Qatar Year of Culture. This trip builds on the relationship the Spirit started earlier this year when staff and players including Paige Nielsen, Tori Huster and Dorian Bailey participated in the Qatar National Day of Sport event held on February 7th at the Ronald Reagan Building.
In order to ensure optimal safety of all travelers, the delegation underwent COVID-19 testing prior to the trip and will be tested during the trip and upon their return.
Spirit Managing Partner Steve Baldwin had this to say about the trip: “During the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet numerous people that I wouldn’t have met without my association with the Spirit. One of those people is Qatar Ambassador, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani. One of the things Ambassador Al Thani and I have discussed repeatedly is the power of sport to bring people together. The Ambassador invited a Spirit Delegation to visit Qatar where we will learn about their country, culture as well as work with the Qatar Women’s National Soccer Team and young girls in Doha. We are also excited to get an exclusive look at the 2022 World Cup preparations. We are honored to represent our country and sport during this trip and are grateful for the invitation extended by His Excellency.”
During the trip, the delegation will participate in a number of events including:
- A tour of the Qatar Foundation’s Education City
- An event with the Qatar National Women’s Team
- The 2021 Qatar-USA ‘Year of Culture” logo reveal
- A tour of the National Museum of Qatar
- A soccer clinic with Best Buddies
- Qatar National Day of Celebration
“As we look toward the 2021 Qatar – USA Year of Culture and 2022 World Cup, there are so many exciting things underway in Qatar, and I am so honored to be able to invite the incredibly dynamic Washington Spirit players for the opportunity to experience it,” said H.E. Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States of America. “Their trip is a testament not only to the power of sports as unifying force, but of the strength of the longstanding friendship between Qatar and the U.S. I look forward to hearing about their experience once they get back.”
Baldwin went on to say: “I have said multiple times that Washington D.C. is the best place in the world for women professional athletes. Our players are going to have an incredible experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Our commitment is to maximize for our players the benefits and unique opportunities provided by living in D.C. This journey is another step in making our club the best in the world and D.C. the most desired destination for women professional soccer players.”