Saudi basketball team takes diplomatic approach to sport

Saudi basketball team takes diplomatic approach to sport
Ready, set, go: Lina Al-Maeena with Ambassador Dominique Mineur of Belguim. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 07 February 2019

Saudi basketball team takes diplomatic approach to sport

Saudi basketball team takes diplomatic approach to sport
  • The new sports project was launched in the city’s Diplomatic Quarter by co-founder of Riyadh United Basketball team Lina Al-Maeena together with the Belgium Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dominique Mineur.

RIYADH: A Saudi basketball team has netted a sporting entente cordiale with the capital’s diplomatic community.

Riyadh United players are to take part in a unique initiative aimed at encouraging more men and women in the Kingdom to participate in sport, while also strengthening international relations.

The new sports project was launched in the city’s Diplomatic Quarter by co-founder of Riyadh United Basketball team Lina Al-Maeena together with the Belgium Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dominique Mineur.

Al-Maeena said the idea behind the scheme was to promote the message of peace and understanding between nations through sport, with regular basketball games between the Saudi diplomatic community and Riyadh teams.

“We believe in the language of sport,” she said. “This initiative allows us to link with the international community in Saudi Arabia while also doing something healthy and beneficial for our minds, bodies, and our country.”

Mineur said: “Sport is essential for the well-being of everyone and I hope that this will generate similar initiatives.”

Al-Maeena hopes that more Saudi women will take up sport and help promote the message of peace.

She pointed to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan as playing a key role in encouraging people to engage in sport. The country aims to increase the population’s sports participation from 13 percent to 40 percent by 2030.

“I believe that this initiative will blossom and flourish in a way we never anticipated,” Al-Maeena added. 

The launch was held on the basketball courts at King Faisal School, which has joined in the venture. 

Principal of the girls’ school Sadeem Al-Qadi said they were looking forward to playing an active role in the program. 

Vision 2030 has already brought about many changes in Saudi culture, including sport for women. Only recently, physical education was reintroduced for girls in Saudi schools after a long absence. 


Madinah joins world’s healthiest cities

Madinah joins world’s healthiest cities
Madinah is believed to be the first city with a population of more than 2 million to be recognized under the organization’s healthy cities program. (SPA)
Updated 24 January 2021

Madinah joins world’s healthiest cities

Madinah joins world’s healthiest cities
  • The holy city gained World Health Organization accreditation after meeting all global standards

JEDDAH: The Saudi city of Madinah has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as among the world’s healthiest cities.
The holy city gained the accreditation after a visiting WHO team said that it met all the global standards required to be a healthy city.
Madinah is believed to be the first city with a population of more than 2 million to be recognized under the organization’s healthy cities program.
A total of 22 government, community, charity and volunteer agencies helped prepare for the WHO accreditation.
The city’s integrated program included a strategic partnership with Taibah University to record government requirements on an electronic platform for the organization’s review.
The WHO also recommended that the university provide training to other national city agencies interested in taking part in the healthy cities program.

FASTFACTS

• Madinah is believed to be the first city with a population of more than 2 million to be recognized under the organization’s healthy cities program.

• A total of 22 government, community, charity and volunteer agencies helped prepare for the WHO accreditation.

A committee chaired by the university’s president, Dr. Abdul Aziz Assarani, supervised 100 members representing the 22 government, civil, charity and volunteer agencies.
Criteria included meeting goals set by the Madinah Region Strategy Project and the launch of a “Humanizing Cities” program.
According to WHO, “a healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.”