Sports for All Federation launches University Sports Group program to help transform Saudi higher learning institutions into active hubs

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The program’s first phase seeks to activate seven universities across the Kingdom

The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has kicked off its new Universities Sports Groups Program in collaboration with the Saudi Universities Sports Federation (SUSF). The Program seeks to promote and facilitate physical activity in universities across the Kingdom.

The Universities Program will take place from February to August of this year, and seeks to establish 120 sports groups and support 80 accomplished sports community groups during this first phase. The SFA will enable students, faculty, and staff to create community sports groups, events, and initiatives across seven universities and some vocational and training colleges. The program will commence at King Saud University in Riyadh, Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University in the Eastern Province, Taif University, University of Hail, Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies in Jeddah, Riyadh College of Technology, and Jeddah College of Technology.

President of Saudi Sports for All Federation, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud said: “We are proud to once again work with closely with our colleagues at the Saudi Universities Sports Federation to launch this latest far-reaching initiative,” adding that the SFA and SUSF first collaborated in 2019 an the incredibly successful challenge targeting post-secondary students.

“Now, the University Sports Group program will re-energize our efforts in the student sector to bring health and wellness to the forefront at campuses across the country. We expect it will contribute significantly to achieving our 2030 target of raising physical activity levels in Saudi to 40%,” Prince Khaled continued.

The positive impact of physical activity extends beyond the classroom. It helps promote better mental and physical health, increases student satisfaction, and serves as a social activity to bring people together. The Universities Program seeks to strengthen the sports infrastructure for healthier, happier, and more active university communities.

President of the Saudi Universities Sports Federation Dr. Khalid Almuzaini, said: “Through the joint collaboration with the Saudi Sports for All Federation, we aim in the launching of this program to motivate students on regular exercise and adapt a healthy lifestyle that will be a supporting factor in the students educational journey.”

The Universities Program builds on the success of previous SFA initiatives specifically catered to universities. During lockdown period in 2020, the SFA launched the Baytak Nadeek Challenge and partnered with SUSF to encourage university students to remain active at home. Another significant SFA program involving university students was the “Sports for All Challenge” that saw teams from 18 universities across the Kingdom and the United States develop campaigns to help encourage their local communities to stay active.

The SFA is providing tailored support to fit each targeted university, aiming towards an effective implementation of this program. The support varies from financial funding, introduce customized programs that focuses on the increased participation from student’s faculty members, ease of access to coaches, mentorship and guidance on best practices and development of leadership skills toward establishing community sports groups, marketing support to increase the reach.

And on the other side, the universities will lead the support by facilitating licenses and grants, provide support to create marketing campaigns, participate in organizing sport competitions, ease of access in booking sports facilities and periodically supervise the progress and delivery of the community sports groups.

Under the Ministry of Sport umbrella, the Saudi Sports for All Federation intensifies its efforts to reach students across the Kingdom. It has already launched several initiatives in 2022, including partnering with the Ministry of Education to activate 12 schools after hours in nine different cities. The SFA is mandated to increase physical activity levels among the population to reach 40% by 2030 to fulfill Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Quality of Life Program objectives.

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