Life is a struggle and the struggle becomes easier if you are a sportsperson. Sports teach discipline, dedication and physical activeness – all necessary to wade through different phases of life.
This was the crux of the conversation that Community recently had with Ana Milena Gomez, a Colombian expatriate and devoted sportswoman. The young woman is a swimming coach and zumba dance teacher. She has been working with QSports, a sports event company, as head of its sports academies for two years.
In the interview, Ana shared how she turned towards swimming, became a national athlete and ended up to becoming a physical education trainer in Doha.
Ana met a little accident as a child that turned her life around and led her to become a sportsperson. “I was eight-year-old when I went to a beach in Santa Marta with my parents. I slipped into water and was about to drown when my father saved me. My parents decided to teach me how to swim. They put me in Compensar swimming Club where I learnt how to swim. I made very good progress and the club decided to include me in the club team. After I joined the club team, I used to practice swimming seven days a week.”
Ana did well at the club team. She practiced for one a half year before she joined her city swimming team. “I was 11-year-old when I joined my city team. I also made my mark at the national level competitions. I started learning synchronised swimming. Later, I joined Colombian national athletics team. I represented my country in Youth Sud American 2003 held in João Pessoa, Brazil. I won a bronze medal for Colombia. I took part in 50, 100 and 200 metre backstroke and 200 metre relay swimming. I spent two years with the national team. Then I moved to swim with fins.”
Ana also started teaching swimming after she finished her high school. “When I was working as a swimming trainer in Colombia, I got a scholarship in Physical Education International School in La Havana, Cuba. I got degree in Physical Education Teaching with specialisation in swimming. I also taught swimming at the university club.”
After moving back to Colombia, Ana started teaching people with special needs at Arcangeles Foundation.
“I worked on a kind of sport therapy with people with special needs. Mostly, I worked with them by teaching rugby in wheelchair. I also taught sports biomechanics through physics.”
Ana came to Qatar in September 2017 as a swimming and zumba dance coach. “My experience with QSports has been very good. Quickly, I moved towards the administrative side of the company. I now work as head of the sports academies. I, however, do train and coach different people and children because it is my passion to be a sports trainer.”
The Colombian athlete says for her there is no life without sports. “I never imagine my life without sports. Sport has taught me a lot in the life. I have learnt how to stand up after I fall down. I have been enjoying my sport activities all along my life. It has given me a strong personality. I actually experience life much before I got to high school or university. As an athlete, I learned to compete, how to bear defeat and how to celebrate victory.”
When asked to share what one good lesson she has learnt being a sportswoman, Ana said: “I learnt how to be disciplined very early in my life. Sport is all about discipline. Different sport activities really help children learn how be disciplined.
“It has further taught me how to be dedicated and committed to one’s goals in life. It is necessary to have goals in life. One can get at the goals through commitment and dedication.”
The professional swimmer is all praise for devotion for sports activities in Qatar. “It is nice to see Qatar celebrating the national sports day. The devotion and excitement shown towards sports in general by the country is praise worthy.
“All people cannot take part in sports activities regularly but it is heartening to see that everyone is interested in having an active life style. The government promotes the idea and the people adopt it.
“I have been enjoying my stay in Qatar primarily for two reasons. It is a very secure place. Further, the country hosts people from different nationalities and backgrounds, all living together in peace.”
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