The Saudi cabinet has approved new regulatory arrangements for the General Authority for Sports. This move is a further bid to develop the country’s sports sector.
The authority plans to promote Saudi sports in both domestic and international arenas by encouraging all segments of the society to practice different kinds of sports. They plan to spread the culture of consideration and social partnership in sports and encourage investment in the sports industry.
In November last year, Saudi’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) directed the General Authority of Sports to create a Sports Development Fund.
The fund’s objectives include: providing loans for sports clubs, promoting sports events, contributing to privatise sports clubs. The fund will also set up and finance sports incubators to create as many as 40,000 jobs for Saudis.
CEDA has also approved the formation of a committee to undertake the privatisation of sport clubs that participate in professional league tournaments.
Under the new plan, the Kingdom hopes to increase the number of people exercising regularly from the current 13 per cent of the population to 40 per cent over the next five years.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said: “A healthy and balanced lifestyle is an essential mainstay of a high quality of life. Yet opportunities for the regular practice of sports have often been limited. This will change. We intend to encourage widespread and regular participation in sports and athletic activities, working in partnership with the private sector to establish additional dedicated facilities and programmes.”
This will enable citizens and residents to engage in a wide variety of sports and leisure pursuits. We aspire to excel in sport and be among the leaders in selected sports regionally and globally,” he added.