26 all-female teams competed at the inaugural GGWCUP Saudi Arabia
The first ever Global Goals World Cup Saudi Arabia event has taken place in Diriyah, with 26 all-female teams advocating for social and environmental sustainability while battling it out for the chance to take part in the Global Goals World Cup (GGWCUP) grand finale in November.
Hosted by the Saudi Sports for All Federation at Elite Sports Centre in Diriyah, the Kingdom’s inaugural GGWCUP event took place between Thursday, September 16 and Saturday, September 18. The event, sponsored by Adidas and Novo Nordisk, combined social impact and sport, as the teams competed in a 5-a-side football tournament as part of their campaigns to highlight the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The GGWCUP movement was launched in 2015, since then, it has invited women around the world to use sport and the 17 SDGs to make a positive impact in their communities.
Over the past nine months, teams from across the Kingdom have been campaigning for and educating people about their chosen SDG, hosting community events, talks, and awareness programs.
The GGWCUP Saudi Arabia event in Diriyah was the culmination of these efforts, which saw teams give presentations to a panel of judges at a private event on Thursday, followed by a two-day tournament open to members of the public.
“I congratulate all of the 26 teams for having the drive and conviction to take part in the first GGWCUP Saudi Arabia, and for all of their individual contributions to the success of this event championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Sports for All Federation. “The determination the competitors have shown not just today, but since the beginning of the GGWCUP is admirable, and they have set an example for us all on being people that can positively impact their local communities with a global ideal. Special congratulations to Kafo, who will be making us proud as they go on to represent Saudi Arabia on the international stage. We wish them the very best of luck and we will be there cheering them on!”
Despite being the inaugural GGWCUP Saudi Arabia event, this won’t be the first time a team from Saudi Arabia has been to the finals. In 2019, the SFA-founded Saudi Greens took second place at the finals in New York City. It was the first time a female sports team from the Kingdom had ever competed in the US; a symbol of the progress the nation has made in developing women’s football.
Since then, the SFA has introduced several sports initiatives for women, such as the Women’s Football League, and an online Women’s Fitness Festival.
“GGWCUP Saudi Arabia is yet another fine example of how talented, skilled, and passionate our nation’s women are,” said Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, Managing Director of the Saudi Sports for All Federation.
“Over the past couple of years, we have worked hard to ensure sport and active opportunities are available to women across the Kingdom, and the success of these all-female teams and the event itself highlights the great strides we have made together.
“Congratulations to Kafo and good luck in Iceland!”
Majken Gilmartin, GGWCUP co-founder added “Congratulations to all the 26 teams for taking part in the tournament and their impressive community initiatives, their willingness to show up is what success is all about. The partnership with the Saudi Sports For All Federation to bring the first-ever GGWCup tournament in the Kingdom helps us reach our objective of inspiring women through sports while making an impact on SDGs with community initiatives. We look forward to seeing Kafo in the finals.”
GGWCUP Saudi Arabia is another example of the SFA’s ongoing commitment to increasing participation in sport. Supported by the Ministry of Sport, the SFA is mandated by Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program to increase the ratio of people in the Kingdom exercising at least once a week to 40% by 2030.