Swimmers aged seven to 18 competed in a variety of races in Riyadh
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting grass-roots physical activity, the Saudi Sports for All Federation joined forces with the Mantra Rays swim team to host a swimming program for young expatriates.
Taking place in Riyadh on September 25, October 23, and November 27, the program saw 49 swimmers compete in a variety of races across the three sessions, including 50 m and 100 m races in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, plus 100 m and 200 m individual medley.
The participants, representing 16 different nationalities, were all aged seven to 18 years old, and competed across six different age groups.
There was a genuine community feel to the program, with 52 parents also volunteering at the event, which was closely supported by the Saudi Ministry of Sports, as well as the SFA, the Manta Rays, Al Bustan Compound, and food and beverage partner PepsiCo.
The SFA and other stakeholders aim to expand the initiative in 2021, with the hope of being able to accommodate up to 300 participants once Covid-19 restrictions are eased in the Kingdom.
Plans are also afoot to host a special event in May 2021 for International Water Safety Day, with a focus on educating young people on how to be safe in and around water.
Swimming plays an important role in the SFA’s mission to encourage healthy habits and regular physical activity. As well as providing a full-body workout, building endurance, and promoting cardiovascular fitness, swimming can also help to alleviate stress, improve coordination and boost flexibility – all of which contributes to the development of holistic wellbeing.