QATAR. ASI SUP Instructor Alison Alberghini is an Australian expat currently living in Qatar. She’s always enjoyed sports but after two serious injuries, she thought her sporting days were over, that was until she tried SUP. Now SUP is part of her lifestyle and spends many evenings enjoying the fantastic views of the Qatar skyline and sunsets from her SUP board.
1. What is your background?
I am an Australian Expat and have worked overseas for over 15 years working in Education. I have worked in China and now I'm living in Qatar. I work at an International School as Head of Learning Support, supporting students with challenges. Growing up I was always known to be sporty. I mostly enjoyed Team sports such as hockey and soccer, then on the field playing soccer I dislocated my knee, not once but twice. I thought that was the last of my sporting days. Then I was introduced to paddle boarding. Paddling has strengthened my knee, given me better flexibility and I am starting to reintroduce other sports that I enjoy when I'm not on the water.
2. What got you involved in the sport?
Actually, a friend introduced this sport to me. Wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it, but I did and have continued to paddle and made this part of my lifestyle now.
3. Why did you become an ASI instructor?
I love the sport and get so much out of it and wanted to share my experience with others. It gives me great joy seeing others enjoy this sport too.
4. What are you doing now?
I help coaching with Blue Pearl Experience in Qatar whenever I can. We are so lucky to live in a country where the weather is mostly beautiful all year round. I usually get to paddle 4-6 times per week and the sunset cruise has to be my favourite as it is so chilled and I can see the clients just relaxing and taking in the view of the sunset and the city skyline.
5. What do you like about being an ASI instructor?
Sharing my passion and skills. There is nothing better than seeing a first-time paddler develop into a confident paddler and getting the same enjoyment out of it as me. Oh, and what away to get fit and a tan!
6. Has COVID changed what you do? How?
Oh yes, I find myself longing to get out on the water more often. My job is quite stressful, and I find going out and having a paddle releases the stress. I actually call the water, my happy place. If you see all my photos of me paddling, all you will see is a big contented smile. During Covid, I have enjoyed been free out on the water. Social distancing is not an issue in the open water, and I don't need to mask up. A simple pleasure these days!
7. Tell us about funny or interesting or nice situation that has happened to you with instructing?
I think the most interesting thing is when you're out with a group and the marine life join in. One particular day we were surrounded by many baby stingrays that appeared to be playing with us and dancing around our boards. Most fascinating thing I'd ever seen.
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