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.


Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi, new CEO of Saudi National Competitiveness Center

Updated 5 min 23 sec ago

Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi, new CEO of Saudi National Competitiveness Center

Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi is the newly appointed CEO of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC). Her appointment was approved by the Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday.

Al-Mutairi received her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from King Faisal University, and her Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry from the University of Bristol, UK. She also holds a postdoctorate in molecular biology and genetics from Harvard School of Public Health. 

She did her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health between 1998 and 2000. Later that year, she joined PerkinElmer as a microarray scientist in Chicago.

In 2003, Al-Mutairi began her ten-year career with Aramco, first as a preventive medicine adviser and from 2007 as an administrator of general medical relations.

In 2009, she served as chief of quality improvement and risk management at Saudi Aramco Healthcare Services, moving in 2011 to be administrator of the workforce planning and analytics division. In 2012, she was appointed as the manager of the medical support services department. 

Al-Mutairi was the manager of the Johns Hopkins Aramco joint venture integration project between 2013 to 2014. In 2016, she took up the post of senior adviser to the Minister of Commerce and Investment until 2017, when she became assistant minister for the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in 2018.