RIYADH: The first edition of the Saudi Games will begin in Riyadh on October 27 under the patronage of King Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday. King Fahd International Stadium will host the ceremony.
The games are set to be the largest sporting event hosted in the Arab world to date, in terms of the number of participants and the amount of prize money on offer.
Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal expressed his gratitude to King Salman for his generous sponsorship of the event, which he said was a clear sign of the country’s leaders’ interest in and support for sports.
“These projects will positively affect our youth,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “This tournament is one of the most important programs to emerge from Saudi Vision 2030. I wish good luck to all our participants.”
The Saudi Games will provide more than 20,000 athletes the chance to participate in the qualifying phase.
More than 6,000 athletes and 2,000 technical and administrative supervisors will participate in the tournament proper on behalf of 200 clubs from across the Kingdom.
Individuals participating under the flag of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee will be grouped into one category, and will also be competing in 45 individual and team sports, including five sports for Paralympians.
Participants will be competing for the highest prize money in the history of the region with more than SR200 million (around $53 million) on offer. Gold-medal winners will receive SR1 million, with silver- and bronze-medal winners awarded SR300,000 and SR100,000 respectively.