Saudi Arabia to host two-day athletes’ forum

Saudi Arabia to host two-day athletes’ forum
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.
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Updated 25 August 2020

Saudi Arabia to host two-day athletes’ forum

Saudi Arabia to host two-day athletes’ forum
  • The two-day forum will feature local and international figures from the world of sports

JEDDAH: The Kingdom is hosting an athletes’ forum this weekend that will address the concerns and roles of sportswomen and men at a local and international level.

The Saudi Athletes  Commission, under the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), will host the virtual event under the patronage of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, who is SAOC president.

The two-day forum will feature local and international figures from the world of sports, including chairwoman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission and Zimbabwe Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry.

According to Ibrahim Al-Moaiqel, chairman of the Saudi Athletes Commission and a volleyball player with Al Hilal Sports Club, the forum is the first event of its kind in the region.

“The forum aims to acknowledge the concerns of athletes and promote the role of athletic commissions both locally and internationally, creating a platform for dialogue on important topics that relate to the welfare of athletes,” he said. 

The commission was set up last year and was focused on increasing the role of athletes in the sports movement, he added. Although the commission was at the start of its journey, and there was a lot to learn, he believed that initiatives such as the forum was an important step toward strengthening the representation of athletes. 

“By linking athletes on the ground with decision-makers in the ecosystem, we can empower the voice of athletes to contribute to the development of sports in the Kingdom,” he added.

The forum’s first day will start with an opening session with the prince, followed by four sessions that will focus on athletes at the heart of the Olympic movement, the Olympic journey, the importance of health and well-being, and empowering women in sports.

The second day will include an opening message from the SAOC’s vice president, Prince Fahad bin Jalawi. There will be sessions on life after sport, athletes’ entourages, anti-doping, and sports psychology and mental health.

Also invited to the forum are the chair of the Women and Sports Committee of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikha Hayat Bint Abdul Aziz Al-Khalifa; Sydney Olympic silver medalist Hadi Souan; Majed Abdullah, former Saudi national football team captain and founder of the Friends of Football Players Foundation; Saad Al-Shehri, football coach and manager of the Saudi under-23 national team; Olympic medalist and IOC Athletes’ Commission member Ryu Seung Min; Saudi taekwondo athlete Abrar Bukhari, and the Kingdom’s first female youth Olympics medalist Dalma Malhas.

Others expected to attend include the coach of the Saudi karate team Ali Al-Zahrani; former national team water polo team player Nasser Dughaither; equestrienne Arwa Mutabagani, and rower Hussein Alireza.

The forum will be aired live through the SAOC’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts: @saudiolympic and @saudiolympicsa.