Expat Adventures - Jump into the Sky - Monica Sanchez
Doha attracts talented expats from around the world who bring skills and talents that include many adventure sports. We recently spoke with one expat known for her athletic abilities, which are quite extraordinary.
Monica Sanchez is truly unique in her prowess at adventure sports ranging from kitesurfing, wakeboarding, sand skiing, and a whole lot more. We discussed some of the outdoor activities available to beginners and women looking to try some high adventure sports.
What do you like about living in Qatar?
I love it here because I’m doing what I love, which is sports. My husband got a job in Qatar in 2011, and my daughter and I came to Doha with him. I started to work at Aspire many years ago and found myself helping women in the community through adding sport into their lives and encouraging them to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Doha is an amazing place to practice all types of water sports. The weather allows you to be on the water almost all year. The facilities to do wakeboarding and kitesurfing in Qatar is really easy. You can find many places where you can do it, such as QatarWatersport.com.
Regarding kitesurfing, it's really a fantastic place for it. You have many windy days, but also because you can reach the areas easily, set your equipment up, and have enough space enough to make it comfortable.
What do you do in your spare time?
I don't have too much time really because of work, but I dedicate most of my time with my daughter and the rest of the time in the water. But I recently started boxing at The Cage Sport, which has classes for men and women.
How did you get involved in adventure sports? Have you ever been injured?
I started when I was really young. My father has a sports company, and I had easy access to all the sport toys, so I tried everything I could. I grew up with my big brother, and while my parents were working, I used to spend all my time with him practicing all kinds of sports. Then I decided to study physical education. I wanted to dedicate my life to something I have a passion for. I would like to change people's lives through sport.
I have gotten injured a lot of times. When I was 19 years old, I fell eight meters into a ravine while climbing due to an equipment failure. I broke seven vertebras and was put into a wheelchair for a year. The doctors told me it would be difficult to walk again, but I was lucky that due to a lot of rehabilitation and lots of hard work, I could walk again. I won the battle and started working hard to keep my body stronger than before. No excuses.
Do you have a theme song or a personal slogan?
Yes. "Live a life you will remember" which you can hear below.
How can women get involved in adventure sports in Qatar?
They just need to try new things. I know it is not easy if they didn’t have contact with sports before, but I’m sure if they just try and get the feeling that sports give to them, they will love it. They will find many places to do all these kinds of sports; they just need the passion and feeling to do it. Nine years ago, you couldn’t find places for women in Qatar to do this kind of thing, but these days lots of women started already, changing their lifestyle to a healthy one. Qatar Watersport and Yalla Kitesurf are two options.
How can people get in touch with you?
The best place is via Instagram. I am at sport.free.spirit. I am also a Sports Corner Athlete so you might see me there as well.