You are here: Blog
Sign up for our Newsletter!
My Journey to Qatar
Neli in Doha with Forbes and Steve from Liverpool FC Foundation

My journey to Qatar began with a flight from Pietermaritzburg on the 12th January before a 9 hour wait at Johannesburg for my second flight to Dubai. Upon arrival the following day, I met a friend from Los Angeles who welcomed me as a foreigner despite the fact that she is not from Dubai either. Once in Doha, I realised that I had been travelling with 3 other participants who were going to the same conference, but we did not talk until we met at the shuttle which was there to pick us up. It turned out that because of my long first and last name, they had thought that I was two separate people so I ended up travelling in the car on my own.

I was welcomed by Christian who showed me to my room. I did not know a single person at this point but I had high hopes of making friends with other members of the conference because I am an open person. I didn’t have to wait long as I met a very welcoming girl during dinner called Iren from Zambia who I had remembered seeing at the airport. Afterwards, we had tour around Aspire which is a beautiful place with a nice view. On the Monday morning, we went to a class where we had to introduce ourselves. By then, I had already made four friends who were from Ghana, Sierra Leone and my roommate from Egypt. We were introduced to volleyball by five sporting icons; starting with some theory before the practical sessions after lunch. The food was delicious and this can be seen in my skin as a result of eating so healthily.

We went on a sand dune excursion on the fourth day in the desert where I also had the opportunity to have my first swimming lesson in the ocean which was fantastic. Basketball sessions began the following day and I really enjoyed it as it was my first experience of the sport. Other activities were boxing, judo, table tennis and swimming classes every afternoon before dinner. Playing such a variety of sports showed me that I am multi- talented as it was if I had I played them all before. It also gave me the opportunity to meet Fobbs who works in community relations and Steve who is a junior coach at Liverpool FC. The coaches had brought a gift for every participant at the conference which was also amazing.

During the conference, we took part in activities that allowed us to experience what it is like for people with disabilities who take part in sport. It encouraged me to think more outside of the box; not to feel shame for disabled people and treat them in the same way as people without disabilities. It was a dream come true to be out of the country and learn more about health initiatives practiced through sport and to socialise with people from all over the world who come from different backgrounds.

Two days before returning home, I took part in a talent event where all of us wore traditional clothing from our home countries. We shared stories, spoke about our different cultures and taught each other native dances, songs and we even discussed some of our beliefs. It was such an amazing and peaceful evening and I experienced a strong feeling of unity between everyone as if we were all part of one giant nation.

My flight from Dubai was delayed which meant that I missed the connecting flight back to Pietermaritzburg which very upsetting, but I was booked into a room at a hotel in Johannesburg before finally arriving home the following morning.
What an experience! Thank you so much for this opportunity. I cannot wait to start using my new skills and knowledge with youth in Edendale who are facing different obstacles in their lives.



» August 12th, 2014
A New Henrike

» July 21st, 2014
Nontobeko Zuma- Game Changer!

» June 24th, 2014
Things I would love to experience in Brazil

» June 24th, 2014
Yeah neh! I am going to Brazil to represent South Africa, our country!

» June 24th, 2014
I am going to Brazil!!!!

» June 23rd, 2014
Words cannot express the emotion within me

» June 17th, 2014
When different opportunities knock I jump higher to see my luck....

» May 8th, 2014
Siyakhona reflects on 20 years of freedom

» May 6th, 2014
Arts and Crafts at The WhizzKids United Health Academy

» April 15th, 2014
My Trip to Germany



August 2014 (1 post)
July 2014 (1 post)
June 2014 (5 posts)
May 2014 (2 posts)
April 2014 (2 posts)
March 2014 (2 posts)
February 2014 (1 post)


November 2013 (2 posts)
October 2013 (2 posts)
September 2013 (3 posts)
July 2013 (2 posts)
June 2013 (1 post)
May 2013 (2 posts)
April 2013 (1 post)
March 2013 (2 posts)
February 2013 (4 posts)
January 2013 (4 posts)


December 2012 (1 post)
November 2012 (4 posts)
October 2012 (4 posts)
September 2012 (3 posts)
August 2012 (2 posts)
July 2012 (3 posts)
June 2012 (2 posts)
May 2012 (2 posts)
April 2012 (4 posts)
March 2012 (4 posts)
February 2012 (5 posts)
January 2012 (2 posts)


December 2011 (5 posts)
November 2011 (5 posts)
October 2011 (5 posts)
September 2011 (8 posts)
August 2011 (7 posts)
July 2011 (8 posts)
June 2011 (6 posts)
May 2011 (3 posts)
April 2011 (5 posts)
March 2011 (9 posts)
February 2011 (8 posts)
January 2011 (6 posts)


December 2010 (4 posts)
November 2010 (3 posts)
October 2010 (6 posts)
September 2010 (6 posts)
August 2010 (6 posts)
July 2010 (9 posts)
June 2010 (5 posts)
May 2010 (4 posts)
April 2010 (10 posts)
March 2010 (8 posts)
February 2010 (4 posts)
January 2010 (2 posts)


December 2009 (5 posts)
November 2009 (6 posts)
October 2009 (2 posts)
September 2009 (4 posts)
August 2009 (2 posts)
July 2009 (4 posts)
June 2009 (3 posts)
May 2009 (5 posts)
April 2009 (2 posts)
February 2009 (1 post)
January 2009 (1 post)


December 2008 (1 post)
November 2008 (1 post)
October 2008 (1 post)


November 2007 (1 post)
October 2007 (1 post)
September 2007 (1 post)
June 2007 (1 post)
May 2007 (2 posts)


Aled Hollingworth (7 posts)
Alex Abed (1 post)
Alice Ford (1 post)
Ben Bernicke (1 post)
Ben Edwards (1 post)
Ben Ziemens (3 posts)
Bongekile Zondi (1 post)
Bonginkosi Khowane (1 post)
Bongiwe Khumalo (1 post)
Brian Suskiewicz (1 post)
Busisiwe Madondo (2 posts)
Charmaine Wheatley (2 posts)
Daniel Schoeberl (21 posts)
Erica Rice (1 post)
Fisani Mtambo (1 post)
GameChangers (2 posts)
Gugu Mofokeng (4 posts)
Henrike Heierberg (1 post)
Jabu Zulu (1 post)
Janet Hartwell (1 post)
Jay Healy (5 posts)
Johanna Neuke (2 posts)
Jonathan Sasati (1 post)
Julia Horvath (1 post)
Kathleen Ann Runyon (1 post)
Katie Gannett (1 post)
Khumza Buthelezi (2 posts)
Lauren Kocher (7 posts)
Lindokuhle Phewa (1 post)
M.R. Thomas (1 post)
Manda Simmons (1 post)
Marcus McGilvray (3 posts)
Markus Bensch (2 posts)
Marlen Krause (3 posts)
Mary Carmody (3 posts)
Matthew Pretty (3 posts)
Matthias Kaspar (2 posts)
Melanie Lane (1 post)
Mihloti Florina Williams (1 post)
Mlungisi Khumalo (3 posts)
Mthobisi Mkhulisi (4 posts)
Nadine Fischer (5 posts)
Nathi Mbanjwa (2 posts)
Nelisiwe Phoswa (4 posts)
Nobuhle Dladla (3 posts)
Nokulunga Mdluli (1 post)
Nokwanda Mkhize (1 post)
Nomvula Moloi (2 posts)
Nonhlanhla Madlala (1 post)
Octavia Mthimkhulu (1 post)
Oli Walsh (49 posts)
Osaebea Amoako (1 post)
Paul Kelly (5 posts)
Phakamani Nguse (1 post)
Philile Mbanjwa (1 post)
Phindile Shezi (2 posts)
Prudence Maranyana (1 post)
Prudence Maranyane (2 posts)
Rusha Govender (1 post)
Sanelisiwe Mthembu (1 post)
Sarah Koelsch (18 posts)
Selverani Govender (1 post)
Silindile Mthembu (1 post)
Simphiwe Zuma (4 posts)
Siphelele Sibisi (3 posts)
Sithule Biyela (1 post)
Siyakhona (1 post)
Sma (4 posts)
Sonwabile Ngcobo (1 post)
Sphesihle Dlamini (1 post)
Stefan Kunze (9 posts)
Susan McDonald (1 post)
Thabani Khumbulani (1 post)
Theo Mitchell (11 posts)
Thilo Neumann (1 post)
Tom Farrar (10 posts)
Tomas Campbell (1 post)
Vuyo Mncwabe (1 post)
Xolani Molefe (1 post)
Zanele Thabethe (2 posts)

RSS Get our Blog as RSS Feed