The athlete of the week is Ahmad El Khatib, a former AUB student who graduated in Spring 2017. Ahmad was a member of the football varsity team and is very passionate about the sport. In an interview with Outlook, this is what he had to say.
How was your journey to the varsity team?
“It was interesting to say the least. I have always loved football, and when I first enrolled at AUB, I was determined to join the football team. I got in the junior varsity, and a year later, I started training with the varsity team. The experience was very rich as I became very close to my team, and it made me proud to be able to represent my university in national tournaments against other universities. The dynamics in the team were enjoyable since the coach made sure that the atmosphere would be a combination of amusement and productivity. We worked really hard, but the trainings were fun. However, it was somewhat challenging, especially since all of us had to find a balance between our respective majors and the varsity team, while being as committed as can be. Unfortunately, I had to stop playing in my last year because I was injured and had to undergo therapy.”
What were the benefits?
“The benefits of being in the varsity team were plenty. As I mentioned earlier, I met a lot of new friends on the team, from different faculties and backgrounds. We became good friends on and off the field. It was also refreshing to have an extracurricular activity, to unwind after a full day of studying. The two-hour trainings and the games took my mind off all the stress from assignments and exams. Moreover, it helped me organize my time and find a balance between practicing and studying. Training with the varsity team improved not only my football skills, but also made me a better person. I learned how to manage my time, be part of a team, and become more confident.”
Why the interest in football?
“I grew up in a family where everyone watches football. My father, brother, uncles, cousins are all passionate about football, and whenever there’s a game on TV, we still sit together and watch it. I even grew up to support the same team as my dad and brother, Liverpool. In a more direct manner, I was influenced by my brother, who is four years older than me. I used to imitate him in everything he did. So, when he started playing football, I immediately joined him, and I haven’t stopped playing since.”