Saudi sports federation promotes healthy homebound living

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Updated 23 March 2020

Saudi sports federation promotes healthy homebound living

  • As the virus affects everyday life, one’s well-being becomes all-important

RIYADH: Around the world, the coronavirus crisis has brought everyday life to a standstill. Social distancing is no longer an option but a necessity.

And just as the home has also become the office for thousands of Saudis in recent weeks, so it is set to become their gym as well.
Staying in, according to the Saudi Sports for All Federation, does not have to mean the end of exercising, or ignoring your health.
Under the banner of the campaign and hashtag Baytak Nadeek (Your Home, Your Gym), the federation is hoping to promote an activity and health campaign in the coming months.
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, president of the federation, has acted quickly to tackle an issue that could have led to physical and mental problems down the line.
“Given the new regulations that Saudi is facing in terms of staying indoors, we decided to pivot to a more campaign-driven approach that was focused on our secondary messaging: Overall health, wellness and community well-being,” he said.
“We moved very quickly from outside active living to indoor active living. This is showcased in our videos all across social media and on the website.
Prince Khaled praised the role that Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah is playing in the campaign, and the backing received from the Saudi government.
“I’m really proud of having a government that knows what’s good for the people,” Prince Khaled said, adding that Al-Rabiah “has been super transparent and a high-level communicator, keeping everyone informed, and that’s what’s bringing Saudi together as one to keep health and wellness the first nationwide priority.”
The federation “is going to keep pushing on every front to support the government’s aims to keep us healthy and strong,” Prince Khaled said. “This is what our new Healthy Living information portal is about.”

Everything is scientifically derived. We’ve got workouts, fun ideas, we even curated playlists for people in Saudi to use and get motivated.

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, President, Saudi Sports for all Federation

The Healthy Living section of the federation’s website has over the last week been populated with articles and programs that cover a range of topics that seek to maintain physical and mental well-being in the current crisis.
“We’ve pivoted, literally in less than 48 hours, from an entity that’s event-focused to being both events- and campaign-focused,” Prince Khaled said.
“We’re driving public awareness initiatives and frontline campaigns. We have diversity there too. There’s everything from home workouts to the best in-class nutrition advice,” he added.
“Everything is scientifically derived. We’ve got workouts, fun ideas, we even curated playlists for people in Saudi to use and get motivated.”
Nutrition is seen as especially important, with more and more content expected on the Healthy Living portal, which the federation sees as essential going forward in line with the Quality of Life program.
Nor is this campaign designed to be solely a quick fix. The idea is that taking up homebound activities will remain a blueprint for a healthy lifestyle even after the coronavirus crisis has passed.
“I definitely think this is sustainable. This is one of our main objectives,” Prince Khaled said, adding that the federation’s “drive toward making health and wellness information readily available and accessible to all is perfectly timed in line with the government’s goals to secure the safety and welfare of Saudi.”
He said: “As for the sustainability aspect, if there’s any silver lining to what’s happening now, we consider that the … federation is responsible for getting people increasingly educated about nutrition, health, and how advisable it really is to stay active.”
He is aware that the enforced change of lifestyle due to the spread of coronavirus could have certain long-term effects in the coming months, and sees the Baytak Nadeek campaign and similar ones as necessary consequences.
“It’s no secret that one of the federation’s top priorities is people’s health. We have a duty to Saudi and we’re up to that challenge,” he said.
“We’re getting creative with online coaching. We’re recruiting freelance health professionals too,” he added.
“We’ve done a number of private sector partnerships to help us get the right content out at the right time,” Prince Khaled said.
“The positive side of all this is that I think this is something with a long-term health impact. People are now thinking about how nutrition and physical activity impact immunity. This is exactly how we want people to think: Be healthy, eat well, live well, and you’re fortified to some degree.”


English Premier League to restart on June 17

Updated 44 min 15 sec ago

English Premier League to restart on June 17

  • No matches have been played since Leicester’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9

LONDON: The Premier League season is set to restart on June 17, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, British media reported on Thursday.

No matches have been played since Leicester's 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9, with Liverpool just two wins away from securing the title.

Top-flight clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to return to contact training and were meeting again on Thursday to discuss issues such as the restart date and the rebate to broadcasters.

Matches would have to be played behind closed doors, much like they have been in Germany's Bundesliga since it restarted earlier in May.

The BBC reported that the first two matches would be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. Those matches are the two games in hand.

A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of June 19-21.

So far, 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the Premier League.

La Liga in Spain hopes to return from June 11, while a crucial summit between Italian football officials and the country's sports minister will be held later on Thursday.

Liverpool were 25 points clear of 2019 champions Manchester City when the Premier league was shut down, on the verge of being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years.

Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.

The BBC will for the first time air free-of-charge Premier League soccer games live when the season restarts next month, the broadcaster said on Thursday.

"This opportunity creates an historic moment for the BBC and our audiences. At a time when sports fans across the country are in need of lift, this is very welcome news," Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said.