JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s national yoga team are limbering up to participate in their first-ever international contest, the second Mt. Everest International Yoga Championship from June 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The team arrived on June 1 in the capital, where they are undergoing special training under the supervision of head coach Vijay Yadav, winner of more than 50 medals, including five gold, during his career.
Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said she was proud of the team and confident that they would outperform many other countries.
She said the team include Ahmed Shilati, Samaher Al-Malki, Jouda Sharaf, Joud Abed and Bader Al-Ghamdi, the Kingdom’s youngest athlete, at age 8.
At a press conference before their departure, Al-Malki, who is also a yoga instructor, told Arab News that the team was ready for their first international championship.
“We are ready to participate in the yoga championship in Nepal to raise the flag of Saudi Arabia. And the spread of yoga has become (important) for us. It is always better to start from a young age to practice this sport.”
The youngster Al-Ghamdi said he was looking forward to representing Saudi in the junior category and hopes to win a medal.
“I love yoga because it teaches me how to breathe, how to exercise and how to balance, and my dream is to be a professional yoga player,” said Al-Ghamdi.
At the press conference, Ahmed Al-Saadi, executive director of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said he was confident the team would perform well.
“The Saudi team has distinguished players and can help any coach in achieving good results because they have quality and intelligence,” Al-Saadi said.
“We know there will be good players at the championship. Reaching this international yoga championship (was) the target of our committee,” he added.
Before her arrival in Kathmandu, Al-Marwaai represented Saudi Arabia in the working group for civil society, C20, under the auspices of the G20 Summit to be held in India this year.
“It was an honor to be part of the International Yoga Program in India under the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future Through Yoga.’ Grateful to our leadership for their unwavering support and empowerment.
“A heartfelt thank you to the Indian government and organizers for their warm reception and exceptional hospitality. Wishing the Indian presidency of the G20 all the success. Together, let’s embrace.”