Palestine athletics coach Duha Idrees on a huge learning curve at OCA HQ


Kuwait City, Kuwait, June 8, 2022: When she was 18, Duha Idrees had to give up her passion for running and shelve dreams of winning an athletics medal for Palestine on the international stage.

“I injured my knee badly and had to give up my dreams. I’m here today, in Kuwait, to learn as much as I can about coaching so I can go back home and show children the proper way to train and compete. I had to give up because I got bad advice from my coaches,” admitted Idrees.

Idrees is one of two Palestine coaches at the ongoing OCA Phase Three Development Programme at its headquarters in Salmiya. She is determined to become a fount of information - proper advice – for the youth in Palestine wanting to pursue an athletic career.

“I’m very grateful for this programme hosted by the Olympic Council of Asia. This is the first time I have attended such a course where so many coaches from other countries are also present,” Idrees commented during a break in the morning theoretical lesson.

“My first lesson a few days ago was to forget everything I thought I knew about athletic coaching and start afresh. This is a huge learning process for me. Apart from having a great lecturer from World Athletics, everyday I try to talk to a coach from one of the other countries and try to learn from their experiences,” she said.

As a teenager, Idrees participated in sprint events. Her personal best in 100m is 12.40 seconds, and in 200m 26.50. She never got the chance to better those times.

“I wasn’t all that good. We didn’t get proper coaching. No one told us the importance of stretching, or the value of giving your body a rest.

I was pushed all the time and I think this was the main reason why my body gave up and I got a bad knee injury,” Idrees related.

The Jericho-based Idress doesn’t want today’s generation to follow in her foot-steps.

“As it is there are many challenges being an athlete in Palestine. I don’t want a youngster to have to stop athletics because he or she was not given the proper advice. This is why this development programme is so important to me,” she added.