The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), led by Federation President HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, alongside Ms. Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, SFA Managing Director, has successfully concluded a visit to Japan. The purpose of the trip, taking place from October 9-14 was to reaffirm the SFA’s commitment to forging strong partnerships with leading international sports entities and organizations.
Mandated by the Ministry of Sport as part of the Vision 2030 Quality of Life program, the SFA is dedicated to increasing the percentage of individuals in the Kingdom engaging in physical activity at least once a week to 40% by 2030. This visit aligns with the SFA’s mission to develop partnerships, and discover best practices in the realm of community sports. The delegation has harnessed knowledge and explored the application of data, information, and cutting-edge technologies in sports from around the world.
The SFA held discussions with renowned sports organizations, including the Japan Sports Association (JSPO) and the Japan Sports Agency (JSA). Meetings also occurred with R-bies Group, the organizers of the Tokyo Marathon, one of Japan’s most prominent sporting events, the Sasakawa Sports Foundation, and the renowned sports brand ASICS.
During their meeting with the JSPO, the SFA delegation engaged with Yusaku Morioka, JSPO Managing Director, to gain insights into the organization’s impressive initiatives. They delved into the Japan Games, a national sporting event designed for Japanese participants, and the Junior Sports Clubs system, similar to SFA’s Neighborhood Clubs, which introduce a wide range of sports and activities to young individuals.
Discussions encompassed topics such as club management, sports activity selection, community involvement, funding strategies, and the advancement of women’s sports.
Similarly, in their discussion with the JSA, the SFA explored critical issues in sports policy planning and population engagement. Survey data from the JSA highlighted lower exercise rates among the working-age population (15-64), mirroring observations in Saudi Arabia. Ideas for motivation, policy tools, and initiatives were exchanged, including sports tourism and the opening of workplace sports facilities. Both sides shared their experiences in collaborating with their respective governments.
Meeting with R-bies allowed the SFA to share ideas on incentivizing the population and organizing significant events. At the Sasakawa Sports Federation, data-driven technology’s role in boosting community sports was examined, while ASICS, having signed an MoU with the SFA, showcased its Sports Science Institute’s innovative smart sports tech, which could lead to further collaborations and innovations.
“The visit to Japan has been instrumental in broadening SFA’s perspectives and understanding; with their commitment to grassroots sports development and strong community connections aligning closely with our goals, “ said Prince Khaled. He added that the insights gathered throughout the trip would help facilitate further innovation at the SFA, with positive takeaways to influence community sports in Saudi.
The visit to Japan highlights the SFA’s unwavering dedication to enhancing its diverse sports programs and activities, in line with the highest quality standards. It reinforces the SFA’s mission to draw inspiration from global leaders in community sports, fostering international cooperation and contributing to the realization of Vision 2030 objectives.
Since its inception, the SFA has spearheaded innovative sporting initiatives, significantly increasing public participation and raising awareness about the positive impact of sports on physical and mental well-being, enriching the quality of life.