NEOM and Rajasthan Royals cricket team announce new community sports program

NEOM and Rajasthan Royals cricket team announce new community sports program
Rajasthan Royals’ Shimron Hetmyer plays a shot during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Dharamshala, India, May 19, 2023. (AP Photo)
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Updated 22 May 2023

NEOM and Rajasthan Royals cricket team announce new community sports program

NEOM and Rajasthan Royals cricket team announce new community sports program
  • It is the Saudi smart city’s first program of its kind and aims to promote an active and healthy lifestyle among its residents
  • NEOM aspires to be an innovative destination for sport by partnering with global sports brands

NEOM: The Saudi smart city NEOM has partnered with one of India’s premier T20 cricket teams, the Rajasthan Royals, to deliver its first ever cricket program.

The landmark pilot scheme aims to facilitate an active and healthy lifestyle within the growing workforce, forecast to reach 60,000 people by the end of the year.

Prince Saud bin Mishal Al-Saud, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation, said: “It’s important that we develop a thriving cricket ecosystem that can be enjoyed by everyone. We are excited to see NEOM’s cricket program partnered by Rajasthan Royals offer that, while also contributing to the growth of the sport in the Kingdom.”

Founded in 2008 and hailing from Jaipur, Rajasthan, the Rajasthan Royals is one of the world’s most renowned cricket teams and recognized internationally for its  academies and community foundation work. To mark the partnership, the lead owner, Manoj Badale, visited NEOM on Monday to meet CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr and other community members, and to take part in a selection of cricket sessions.

Badale said: “We are thrilled to partner with NEOM and launch this grassroots cricket program. This partnership allows us to contribute to NEOM's vision of fostering an inclusive, active and healthy community. We look forward to witnessing the growth of cricket within NEOM and creating a lasting impact for the workforce, residents and society.”

The cricket program will focus on inclusivity and reflects the Royals’ commitment to promoting the development and innovation of cricket internationally. With a workforce of thousands already based at NEOM, cricket has become one of the project’s most popular sports, attracting more participation and a growing number of spectators from among those working on site.

NEOM aspires to be an innovative destination for sport, partnering with global sports brands, championing livability for its residents and contributing to NEOM’s dynamic economy. The new partnership will be another element of NEOM’s commitment to supporting an active and healthy community.

Jan Paterson, managing director of NEOM Sport, said: “NEOM is committed to nurturing the most physically active society globally and our partnership with the Royals is the latest step in making that vision a reality. Cricket is already a hugely popular sport in NEOM and we want to capture and nurture that enthusiasm and make sure it is being felt throughout the region. Working with the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation and the Royals will enable us to provide cricket for men and women, girls and boys alike, in the community at NEOM.”

The cricket program will be delivered by specialist partners, RISE, and Red Bear Sports, who will oversee the delivery of an authentic T20 cricket league on site at NEOM. It will be community based and be supported by a participation program to be delivered by the end of the year. Sport is seen as essential to the enrichment of lives at NEOM, and the organization is aiming to support the development of sport leaders within the workforce.