Qatar is FIL’s 58th Member

//Qatar is FIL’s 58th Member

Qatar is FIL’s 58th Member


NEW YORK, N.Y.—The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) announces that Qatar is officially its 58th member nation. Qatar was approved, as was Greece (57th member), via a postal vote of federation members in May 2017.

Bob DeMarco, FIL Director of Development

Bob DeMarco

“The Federation of International Lacrosse welcomes Qatar as its 58th member. David Heywood and Gibran al-Bader of the Qatar Lacrosse Association (QLA) have done an outstanding job of building their program on a sound foundation of youth development.”

— Bob DeMarco, FIL Director of Development

Qatar becomes FIL’s 10th member from Asia, joining China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

David Heywood, a British expatriate, founded the QLA in 2015. Later that year, Qatari Gibran Jamal Nasser S. al-Bader, joined the QLA as its Director. Together they would create and apply a strategic plan to drive the development of lacrosse in Qatar.

Realizing that lacrosse was an entirely new sport in Qatar, Heywood and al-Bader have taken a “from the ground up” approach to the introduction of the sport in the country. Development efforts have focused on youth development primarily, with much progress achieved.

“Our vision of uniting a proud sporting Qatar sees us active alongside educational, sport and community groups delivering lacrosse. Our view is that by doing so we can enhance the experience of studying, working and living in Qatar.”

—David Heywood, Founder and Co-CEO, Qatar Lacrosse Association

David Heywood, QLA Founder and Co-CEO

David Heywood

The sport is growing quickly in Qatar, capturing the interest of education, sport and community groups. The QLA developed a reach-out campaign that resulted in opportunities to expand its network and seek out potential players, program hosts, and advocates.

Gibran al-Bader, QLA Direct and Co-CEO

Gibran al-Bader

“Initially, we brought together sports enthusiasts who expressed an interest through our reach-out campaign for small recreational gatherings. Most participants had little or no experience with lacrosse, and we found that hosting clinics provided the perfect platform to introduce lacrosse to junior, youth, and adults to learn the fundamentals of the sport and have fun.”

—Gibran al-Bader, Director and Co-CEO, Qatar Lacrosse Association

As a result of these efforts, Lacrosse is now a part of the physical education curriculum at GEMS American Academy, Al Wakrah.

In 2016, Heywood and al-Bader developed a pilot program with Jose Romero, Head of Health and Physical Education at GEMS American Academy, to included lacrosse in the GEMS curriculum. The QLA provided resources and literature for the GEMS teaching staff to use in lesson planning.

“The success of the pilot program and positive feedback from our students was more than enough to move the sport to the next level. As a result, we have since expanded our program to grades 8 (13yrs) and 10 (15yrs) with a great response.”

—Jose Romero, Head of Health and Physical Education at GEMS American Academy, Qatar

Jose Romero, Head of Health and Physical Education at GEMS American Academy, Qatar

Jose Romero

Youth Lacrosse Development

Photos of youth lacrosse development efforts in Qatar. Photos: QLA 2017

The QLA plans to work with GEMS to develop the sport with other schools in the community, ultimately developing lacrosse teams to compete interscholastically.

According to Heywood, it is the challenging, yet rewarding work carried out by the QLA that is steering lacrosse programs into schools, colleges, and universities — while at the same time evolving the sport’s reach to community organizations by facilitating academy programs.

In October of 2016, the QLA was awarded a full equipment grant by the FIL, which was and will be used to facilitate pilot programs with education, sport, and community-based hosts.

“The QLA received a lot of support from the FIL Development Committee, and we now look forward to broadening our community reach,” said Heywood.

“We are truly overjoyed to be a member of FIL,” added al-Bader. “FIL recognition and acceptance into the global lacrosse community is an honor. The opportunity presented to us will fuel our efforts with local and national government bodies to further the sport’s growth in a sustainable way for the people of Qatar.”


Contact Qatar Lacrosse Association

Contact David Heywood and/or Gibran al-Bader:
Email for General Enquiries:

Qatar Lacrosse Association Media Outlets

Related Articles

6 February 2017 – Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar
“The hard work that goes into this sport helps develop a strong character”

14 February 2017 – Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar
Qatar Foundation wins inaugural Qatar Lacrosse Invitational Tournament

30 May 2017 – Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar
‘Fastest game on two feet,’ lacrosse captures the fancy of students at GEMS

About the FIL

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 58 member nations and holds five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor.) The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.

About Qatar Lacrosse Association

The Qatar Lacrosse Association (QLA) extends a warm welcome to all players and social enthusiasts alike to the fastest game on two feet, and aims not only to encourage participation at all levels, but also provide lacrosse players and enthusiasts a platform to meet, enjoy, shape and advance the sport successfully in Qatar.

By | 2017-09-05T06:49:23+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Development|Comments Off on Qatar is FIL’s 58th Member

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FIL Admin manages the Federation of International Lacrosse website and regularly contributes posts and updates.