Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority reveals strategy to support sports

General Sports Authority President Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, center, with officials of the Kingdom’s sports clubs during a press conference on Saturday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 22 July 2019

Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority reveals strategy to support sports

  • Goal is to implement an effective governance system that supports and maintains the clubs

JEDDAH: The General Sports Authority (GSA) revealed “a new chapter for sports in Saudi Arabia” at a press conference on Saturday, crediting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his “limitless” support.

The GSA’s new strategy has been developed “after careful study with prominent international experts, and with the help of federations around the world, to reach our desired goals,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, president of the GSA, revealed.

“What our clubs currently lack from our strategy is governance, and they have a huge financial deficit, and are not activating other types of sports, and have an unsustainable future,” he said. 

“We have 170 clubs today, participating in 22 sports and in 56 active federations. Seventy-nine clubs participate in four-to-five different sports, and only five clubs participate in more than 12 sports. 

Sports economy

Our goal is to implement an effective governance system that supports and maintains the clubs, increases the level of competitiveness across all sports, organizes the financial process and creates a flourishing sports economy.”

Al-Faisal explained that the government has allocated SR2.5 billion ($667 million) to the new project, and announced that the country’s professional sports leagues would each receive SR50 million, with an additional SR10 million “related to the development of club facilities.”

IN NUMBERS

• SR2.5 billion  the budget for  GSA’s strategy.

• SR50 million for each professional league.

He also stressed that the GSA’s strategy is not focused solely on football.
“Sports means all sports,” he said. “This step is the first stage to support and activate these sports before the announcement of the strategies that are special to the federations. The system to support different sports has a specialized SR480 million (dedicated to it).”

Al-Faisal also revealed that a “unified points system” had been used to measure the popularity of various sports, which were then ranked in two categories. Volleyball, basketball, handball, tennis and athletics are included in the first category, while karate, cycling, table tennis, swimming and taekwondo are included in the second.


Saudi center for disease prevention signs agreement with Swedish agency

Updated 16 December 2019

Saudi center for disease prevention signs agreement with Swedish agency

  • The two parties agreed to promote and develop public health initiatives of common concern

RIYADH: The National Center for Disease Prevention and Control has signed a cooperation agreement with the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

The agreement will strengthen ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries in public health within the framework of cooperation prepared in 2019.

On behalf of the center, Dr. Abdullah Al-Gwizani, executive director-general, signed the agreement with his Swedish counterpart, Dr. Johan Carlsson.

The two parties agreed to promote and develop public health initiatives of common concern, as well as outlining the fields of work covered.

These fields included the workforce, organizational development, institutional strategy, business planning, specialized microbiology laboratories, health economics, non-communicable disease prevention, promotion of healthy lifestyles, the monitoring of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and health improvement.

Dr. Al-Gwizani said that the agreement would last for five years. It would then be reviewed and renewed after the agreement of both parties.

“These agreements reinforce the center’s role in creating new health practices and developing the performance of the public health sector,” he said. “Benefiting from well-established organizations such as the Public Health Agency of Sweden confirms our eagerness to convey the best practices to the public health sector locally, as well as exchanging experiences.”