RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) announced on Thursday the three winning teams in the Sports for All Challenge for university students.
The winning teams, tasked with developing models that would increase community engagement in physical activities, competed for a top prize of $10,000 for the winning team, and $5,000 and $3,000 for the second- and third-place teams respectively.
The challenge saw 18 teams of university students from both Saudi Arabia and the US develop creative campaigns to encourage local communities to get active and participate in sports, and to contribute effectively towards improving the quality of life and wellness for participants.
The Sports for All Challenge, held across nine cities: Madinah, Al-Majma’ah, Makkah, Dhahran, Riyadh, Hail, Jeddah, Fairfax, Virginia and Carbondale, Illinois, saw teams from 12 universities take part, including 10 Saudi universities and two US universities.
Three finalists from 18 participating teams reached the final round: Team “Endorphin” from Umm Al-Qura University won the first place, Team “150 Minutes” from Southern Illinois University won second place and Team “Your Health in Your Steps” from the University of Hail won third place.
The winners were announced at an official awards ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center following two rounds of judging.
The judging panel included SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, Aljohara Fallatah, founder of Al-Azem Academy, and Suleiman Alkadi, COO of Armah.
“The Sports for All Challenge seeks to generate new ideas from the young generation of Saudis to motivate and encourage society to get active and take up a any type of fit activity. We know how talented and creative our young people are, and we want them to be leading the way in promoting healthier lifestyles,” said Prince Khaled.
Team Endorphin developed a campaign to support and prepare leaders to form their own Community Sports Groups (CSGs). The team proposed hosting a two-day camp for future sports leaders and encourage them to share their favorite sport with their community.
Team Your Health in Your Steps conceptualized collaborating with local authorities to connect 35- to 50-year-old women and men with existing sports services and create new opportunities.
CSGs will be organized in each of the nine neighborhoods of Hail and host competitive sports tournaments among the groups.
The team will create a neighborhood hiking challenge, encouraging audience participation with the goal of providing their target audience with information and experiences that will help prevent chronic health issues, such as diabetes and obesity.
Team 150 Minutes will target Saudi university students who are between the ages of 18 and 35, helping them to develop a regular exercise routine, which includes 150 minutes of exercise per week for optimum health.
The team created a weekly exercise group on the Southern Illinois University campus that meets three times per week, applying the physical activity guidelines they have promoted. They are also planning a marathon on the campus as well as in Saudi Arabia.