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Aggies place sixth in Maersk Challenge

Published Nov 19, 2014


A group of five Aggies won the Spirit Award and placed sixth out of 30 teams in the  Maersk Oil/QP Challenge 15-16 November.

The Aggies were the only student-based team in the competition and competed against teams of industry leaders with much more experience, said Kelli Campbell, one of the team coaches and assistant instructor of health and kinesiology in the Liberal Arts Program.

Team members included Yazeed Al-Dughaither (captain),  Ashley Bender, Yehia El-Ebiary, Muhammad Kamil Faiz and former student Georges Saade. John and Kelli Campbell coached this year's team.

The Challenge combines physical activity with great leadership and teamwork. Team members use essential skills such as planning under pressure, communicating clearly, solving problems and dealing with change. This year's results represent a significant improvement from last year when the Aggies placed ninth.

To make the Texas A&M at Qatar team, each team member had to compete against other students and former students in a series of elimination rounds that began in early September, Kelli Campbell said. These elimination rounds included a 3K run, Mind Challenge Day, Kayaking Training Day, GPS Orienteering Challenge and finally a 5K run. The five team members, who were selected from 30 who tried out, had to participate in weekly workouts and two brainstorming sessions in preparation for the race.

"The students represented Texas A&M at Qatar very well," Kelli said, "and were very happy with the sixth-place finish and the Spirit Award. The students worked very hard over the past months and really pulled together as a team."

All proceeds raised by participants of this team challenge event are donated to Qatar’s Action on Diabetes partnership, which supports diabetes research, education and awareness programs. Challengers raised a total of $110,000 this year.