Accomplishments in sports that every Saudi should be proud of!
We may play sports just for entertainment and fun, but the benefits of sports go beyond that. It’s much more than a pastime!
Sports play a multi-dimensional role in the development of a country. It has grown into a business that’s helping a country financially by generating income.
Through the sponsoring of sports teams and events, the world’s biggest brands demonstrate the power they exercise on sports business throughout the world.
Active participation in mega-sport events also improves infrastructure, generates employment, and increases the influx of foreign capital in the country.
Saudi Arabia recognized the global economic impact of the sports industry and established the ‘General Presidency for Youth Welfare’ in 1974. Its purpose was to organize and manage sporting events in the country.
Since then, Saudi players are participating in international events including the Olympic Games, the Asian Games, and the Arab Pan Games
The hard work has started to bear fruits.
Medals won by Saudis:
Here’s a list of recent medals won by male Saudi national teams:
- Saudi Arabia has qualified for four of the last five FIFA World Cups.
- The Saudis have won 25 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 23 bronze medals in Asian Games.
- Saudi teenager Mosaad Aldossary won $250,000 in the global FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final.
- In the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, Hadi Al-Somaily won the silver medal for ‘Men’s 400-meter hurdles.
- In Equestrian, Khaled Al Eid won a bronze medal for Individual show jumping in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
- Ramzy Al Duhami, Abdullah Al Saud, Kamal Bahamdan and Abdullah Sharbatly won the bronze medals in the Equestrian team jumping in the 2012 London Olympics.
Now let’s talk about the other half of the population.
2010 marked the slight easing of Saudi women’s participation in sports, and since then, sports women have only continued to climb the ladders of success.
The hockey players are seeking a license from the Saudi GSA to register themselves as the first Saudi hockey team to represent the country at international levels.
Accomplishments of Saudi Sportswomen:
Here’s a list of accomplishments by female Saudi national teams:
- A Saudi woman fencer won a gold medal at the sixth GCC Women’s Games in Kuwait.
- In the épée fencing, a Saudi lady won a bronze medal at the GCC Women’s Games.
- The Saudi bowling team finished its competition in fifth place at GCC games.
- Sarah Attar and Judoka Wojdan Shaherkani were the first two female athletes to ever represent Saudi Arabia in the Olympics (London 2012).
Acknowledging the sports sector as a business opportunity, Saudi’s Vision 2030 intends to excel in sports and be among the leaders of the sports industry regionally and globally.
With this vision, Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify the economy and further improve its financial resources and economic stability.
For this purpose, they’re hosting global level sporting events in the country. These sporting events will encourage Saudis to participate in sports and win for Saudi Arabia in International events.
International sports events in KSA:
- In 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted the first motorsport event in Diriyah. This formula E race was an event of global significance.
- Jeddah invited international boxers for the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018. The event was the first of its kind to happen in the Kingdom.
- Drone Racing League in Jeddah was the first professional league to happen in the country in 2018.
- GSA hosted the first Riyadh International Marathon in Feb 2018.
- Saudi Arabia hosted its first WWE women’s wrestling match in Oct 2019.
- Clash on the Dunes was the first-ever World Heavyweight Title fight in the Kingdom. The fight happened as a part of the Diriyah season in Dec 2019.
- The first professional tennis tournament was staged in Diriyah in Dec 2019.
- The Kingdom is planning to host the Saudi Arabia Snookers Masters in Riyadh in October 2020.
Saudi Arabia wants to increase the number of accomplishments in every game. Hence, GSA is hosting these events, to showcase and enhance Saudi talent and potential.
In the past year, the number of sports being played in the Kingdom has risen dramatically. The increasing number of sporting events is increasing, and so is the excitement in Saudis.
For tech assistance and event management, GSA partners with Hala Yalla. Together they’re trying to encourage a healthy lifestyle with fun and entertainment.