PNU, sports authority sign deal to promote women’s sport in Saudi Arabia

Princess Nora University is considered one of the biggest women’s universities in the world in terms of its sports facilities.
Updated 25 November 2016

PNU, sports authority sign deal to promote women’s sport in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The General Authority for Sports and Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) signed a memorandum of cooperation to activate sports facilities with a view to promoting healthy lifestyles.
The pact was signed in the presence of Princess Reema bint Bandar of the General Authority for Sports and PNU Rector Huda Al-Ameel.
Signing this agreement with Princess Nora University, which is considered one of the biggest women’s universities in the world in terms of its sports facilities, will contribute to boosting student involvement in sports and making them aware of its importance for their bodies.
The agreement forms part of a project of General Authority for Sports and the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee to raise the scale of community participation in sports from 13 percent to 40 percent by the year 2030 as a part of Vision 2030.
Princess Reema, who became the first Saudi woman to be appointed as the president’s undersecretary for the female section (Rank 15) at the General Authority for Sports on Aug. 1, expressed her pleasure in signing the memorandum, which embodies cooperation between government agencies to contribute to spreading awareness of the importance of sports for the Saudi community.
She said society needs to spread this culture and promote it. “I am so proud of seeing PNU’s huge potentials and its facilities, as well as the motivational halls provided for everyone,” she said.
She reiterated that the community is in crucial need for spreading and promoting a sports culture.
The entertainment center for PNU’s students started operating in 2014 under the supervision of a Korean training group, located on 200,000 square meters, with the capacity to accommodate 4,600 students.
Speaking to Arab News, Lina Al-Maeena expressed her excitement about this cooperation, saying it is a very wise and historic step as the facilities at PNU are outstanding. “We are talking about a multi-sport [facility]; it has basketball, football fields and numerous different sports; and as an educational institution is one of the biggest universities in the Kingdom in terms of space.”
“The General Authority for Sports and the Saudi Olympic Committee are very active in promoting and raising awareness about women’s sport. There is this hashtag #Health_Sportive_Society, which highlights the importance of the association for health and sports, because some people have a very limited perspective in how they view sports as competitive. But in reality, it should be a lifestyle, and this is what the General Authority for Sports, PNU, the Saudi Olympic Committee and Princess Reema are trying to do. So far, Princess Reema is doing a fantastic job,” she added.
The facilities include a number of sports halls and a stadium, in addition to an Olympic-class swimming pool that is available all weekdays. These halls include basketball, volleyball, aerobics, hiking, bicycles, as well as weight loss exercises, full-body exercises and a variety of other sports.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.