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Group photo of Asian Games Youth Reporter in Maldives capital city Male.
Assad serves up treat for Youth Reporter students


09 Feb 2013
Male, Maldives: The 80 students at the OCA’s Asian Games Youth Reporter Project in the Maldives on Saturday were in for a big surprise when national football hero Assad Abdul Ghani was the special guest at a mock-Press Conference exercise. Assad, known as the Golden Captain after Maldives’ success in the South Asian Football Federation Championship in 2008, stopped off at Kalaafaanu School on his way to training.

In a Press Conference-style set-up in the school’s vast main hall, Assad spent 15 minutes answering questions from the students about his career and his forthcoming retirement from international football on February 14. Wearing an official Fun Run + Learn T-shirt, he was then asked to pick out the best two questions from the floor and presented the two lucky students with a souvenir gift.

Assad, 37, is captain of the Valencia club and a national sports celebrity in the Maldives. He played his first game for the national team in 1994 and will retire in the 13th minute of the friendly against Pakistan on February 14 – a symbolic farewell as he wore the No. 13 shirt for the national team.

Eleven schools provided the students for the YRP on Saturday afternoon. The 90-minute workshop included preparation, match reporting and obtaining comments from an athlete after an event.

The “Press Conference” with Assad was designed to put the students in a Games-time situation in which they had to give their name and school before asking a question. Maldives Olympic Committee official Mohamed Saeed acted as Moderator.

The seminar prepared the students for a one-hour written test, based on the national record-breaking run of 100-metre track star Ahmed Azneem at the London Olympic Games. Azneem is now training in Jamaica on a one-year scholarship provided by the Maldives Olympic Committee.

The articles were assessed by the OCA Media Department and Maldives Olympic Committee Media Coordinator Shimaz Ali. The winner will be announced at the grand prize presentation following the Fun Run on Sunday afternoon, and will be invited to be a member of the OCA media team at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, in 2014.
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