SFA underlines the importance of Saudi community sports

Adgully Bureau | | Reading Time: 8:1 minutes

The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has underlined its commitment to advancing sports diplomacy and leveraging the unifying power of sports to create a brighter future for all. Representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Peace and Sport International Forum 2022 in Monaco — an event launched to generate concrete solutions and forge impactful partnerships that make the most of sport as a lever for peace — the Federation took another important step towards accomplishing its goal of empowering more people and communities to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.

Joining some of the world’s foremost experts, leaders, and sports stars to address pressing global challenges, SFA — acting as an ambassador for the Kingdom and flagbearer of regional sports excellence — showcased its work to transform Saudi Arabia into a world-class sports hub. The Federation called on the international community to come together through the development of an inclusive and united global sports culture to effect lasting change and innovate sustainable solutions to persistent issues.

A unique platform for meaningful dialogue, the exchange of ideas and the promotion of good practices, the Peace and Sport International Forum provides a timely opportunity for changemakers from around the world to explore how they can safeguard the future.

This year’s event — which took place from 30 November to 1 December — marked a major milestone for SFA, with the Federation signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peace and Sport at the forum. The agreement aims to enhance cooperation between the two parties in supporting community sports initiatives and empowering Saudi people in the sports sector.

The MoU was signed by SFA President HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud and the President and Founder of Peace and Sport, Joël Bouzou. It will help to enhance SFA's drive — with the support of the Ministry of Sport and the Quality of Life Program — to build a healthy and active society through joint programs and bilateral campaigns.

As part of the agreement, SFA will collaborate with Peace and Sport — a neutral and independent worldwide organization that uses sport and its values as an instrument for peace — to host a diversity of sports programs in the Kingdom. Together, they will create a range of initiatives that support the ongoing growth and development of the Saudi sports community, while promoting global peace and cooperation.

The MoU forms part of the initiatives that SFA is pioneering to achieve the Vision 2030 and Quality of Life Program objectives of increasing physical activity levels in the Kingdom by 2030. In line with this commitment, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, and SFA Managing Director, Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, attended a range of meetings to facilitate productive long-term collaborations between SFA and Peace and Sport. This included an audience with H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as sit-downs with Peace and Sport President and Founder Joël Bouzou and CEO Jean-Jérôme Perrin-Mortier.

Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, the SFA MD, was also speaker at the forum, taking part in a session entitled “Sport as a vector for gender equality”. During the talk, she emphasized the importance of increasing women’s participation in sport-based programs, sport competitions and sport-related occupations, reiterating that empowering girls and women is instrumental to social development and building inclusive societies.  

SFA President, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, said: “This agreement reflects our common goals and values?? to use sport as a major tool to promote peace. Sport is the most vital tool in enhancing communications between nations and people. Based on this vision, we look forward to cooperating with Peace and Sport to launch successful community sports initiatives and build the local capacity across different fields related to community sports and contribute to an active healthy nation.”

Joël Bouzou, President and Founder, of Peace and Sport, said: “We are pleased to be working with SFA to bolster Saudi Arabia’s sports infrastructure and enhance its already thriving sports culture. This cooperation will help launch several new and innovative sports programs: first-of-their-kind offerings that will transform communities and change lives for the better. SFA has already proven its ability to host many large events that have gained wide popularity in the Kingdom and around the world. We look forward to helping SFA achieve even more game-changing feats, empowering people to build more inclusive and peaceful societies.”

As the main body responsible for developing community sports and raising physical activity levels in Saudi Arabia, SFA proactively engages in and promotes international dialogue to enhance sports in the Kingdom. Over the course of the past year, the Federation has participated and played a leading role in events and gatherings such as 9th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress in Abu Dhabi, the 2022 Misk Global Forum, Sports Industry Forum Abu Dhabi 2022, and the 27th TAFISA World Congress.