RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation’s (SFA) nationwide Start Now fitness campaign has ended after three months of efforts to encourage physical activity and promote a healthier lifestyle across the Kingdom.
The initiative also encouraged inclusivity in sports by urging people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to go a step further in their fitness journey and ditch sedentary habits.
During the course of the campaign it attracted more than 23 million views and 228,000 engagements on social media. Meanwhile downloads of the SFA app increased twentyfold, driven in part by the initiative.
“Start Now is an incredible milestone for the Saudi Sports for All Federation, in terms of its success in reaching a diversity of communities in Saudi Arabia, and also accelerating the SFA’s digital transformation,” said Osamah Alnuaiser, the SFA’s marketing and communications director. “Our goal is to get people to start and continue their journey to fitness and healthier lifestyles, whether you’re 6 years old or 90.
“Start Now was unique and powerful because it asked people to improve their fitness irrespective of staring level. We are delighted with the response of the community, and also with the uptake of the SFA app and its associated SFA Rewards program. Together with our communities, we are building a healthier, happier and more active Saudi Arabia.”
Among other things the SFA app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, helps users find nearby sporting events, track personal goals, respond to SFA activity challenges, and create and manage community sports groups. It also connects to Apple Watch, Google Fit, Fitbit and Samsung Health fitness trackers, unlocking a range of in-app features.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the SFA has launched several campaigns designed to encourage a healthier lifestyle for people who have been unable to exercise or take part in sports outdoors. The federation was recently featured on MBC1’s Seen TV program, a nightly show hosted by Ahmad Al-Shugairi, which highlighted its use of technology in the past year to improve public health, in particular by promoting opportunities to participate in hockey and cricket, and how the SFA app is helping people stay active.
The work of the SFA was also honored at the 2021 Sport Industry Awards for its successful partnership with the Saudi Esports Federation. The organizations were rewarded for their efforts to connect video gaming with online fitness programs through their collaborative Move to Game initiative.
In addition, the SFA received four prizes — three silvers and a bronze — at the Transform Awards MEA in recognition of its outreach activities, creativity and brand transformation.
Start Now is the latest SFA campaign in support of the Ministry of Sport and the Quality of Life program mandated by the Saudi Vision 2030 national development plan, which set a target of increasing to 40 percent the proportion of residents who take part in regular physical activity.