Start-up of the Week: Swish — Promoting healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia

Updated 03 July 2018
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Start-up of the Week: Swish — Promoting healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia

  • Basketball and sports build characters and have a positive impact on people’s overall behavior
  • Swish Basketball Academy started its operations in October 2017 with a program called MoHandles Basketball Camps, which was aimed at teaching basketball enthusiasts the basics of the game

JEDDAH: Saudis are generally considered soccer-crazy people and it is true, they do not mind also engaging in other sports.
One can find Saudis — men and women — participating in all kinds of sports and basketball is no exception. There is an academy in Jeddah that offers basketball training to aspiring players of both genders in a range of age groups.
Swish Basketball Academy started its operations in October 2017 with a program called MoHandles Basketball Camps, which was aimed at teaching basketball enthusiasts the basics of the game.
The founding coach of the academy, Mohanned Shobain, said due to public demand he decided to open an academy.
Shobain is a Saudi professional basketball player and he plays for the Ittihad Club. He is also a skills development coach recognized by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). He has been coaching for 10 years in different organizations, and holds a master’s degree in sports business from Cleveland State University, Ohio.
Other coaches at Swish are Racan Barnawi and Sari Abdulmehsen, who are professional players and basketball coaches recognized by FIBA. They are also strength and conditioning coaches.
Currently, more than 100 members are enrolled with the basketball academy. It aims to promote a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia, according to Shobain.
He wants to support female athletes and increase the number of female basketball players in the Kingdom.
“My goal is to increase the number of athletes in Saudi Arabia and encourage all age groups, especially children, to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. I wish to build a new generation with a better mindset and skills to be able to compete at the Olympics level,” Shobain said.
“Basketball and sports build characters and have a positive impact on people’s overall behavior.”
The academy plans to open its own state-of-the-art facilities across the Kingdom. It aspires to become one of the top sports academies not just in Saudi Arabia but also across the Middle East.
Swish’s online payment system is currently under development. Currently, customers can contact the academy through social media accounts or visit the academy currently located in Jeddah Private School’s facility to sign up.
“The process is easy: Once they make the call or visit us we give them a free pass to try out our class once or twice so as to help them make a decision.
“Usually, they practice 2-3 times a week or 8-12 sessions a month. It is a monthly program but some customers wish to sign up for 2-3 months,” Shobain said.
Interested people can visit the academy’s website or find it on Instagram @swishksa for further details.


Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

Updated 19 July 2018
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Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

  • The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022
  • The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the signature of a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement for the design and construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes with the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia. The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022.
In line with the contract, Navantia and SAMI have agreed on the establishment of a JV in Saudi Arabia, which will provide an exceptional opportunity to consolidate the position of the integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions provided by Navantia in the Saudi market and area of influence, perfectly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by localizing 50% of the total military spending by 2030.
The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years, as follows: 1,100 direct jobs, more than 1,800 from the auxiliary industry, and more than 3,000 indirect jobs generated by other suppliers.
In this respect, the JV will focus on program management and combat system integration and installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, software development, testing and verification, prototyping, simulation, modelling, and through-life support.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, said: “SAMI remains committed to being a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030, and the establishment of this Joint Venture with Navantia will localize more than 60% of ship combat systems work including, installation, and integration, which contribute to the Kingdom’s objective to be at the forefront of shaping the local military industries ecosystem. We will continue to explore collaborations and leverage partnerships that meet our key mandate to localize more than half of the Kingdom’s total military spending.”
Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: “Navantia is very happy with the signature of this contract that means a starting point for the collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Navantia is committed to contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and will support the country in this endeavour. The JV between SAMI and Navantia is an opportunity to develop capabilities in the country and jointly explore future opportunities.”
For the Avante 2200 contract, the JV will be responsible, among others, of supplying the Combat System of all five ships. Corvettes 4th and 5th will be finalized and delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the JV will do the installation, integration and test of the complete Combat System.