The Quality of Life Program – one of the programs to achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 – worked to support major sports initiatives and projects in 2021, implemented by the Ministry of Sports, the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee and its affiliated federations.
This aims to achieve two of the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 assigned to the program;
1-Promoting sports activities in the community
2- Achieving excellence in several sports regionally and internationally
Moreover, the program aims to contribute to the achievement of a third goal; which is improving the living conditions of expatriates
In 2021, major sports strategies were launched, and the practice of sports in the community was enhanced through campaigns and events.
Furthermore, several sporting events targeting expatriates were implemented, to support their integration into society, and to host unique and distinctive global events.
In terms of plans and strategies, Saudi Arabia has launched a strategy for supporting and developing sports federations. It aims to support the transformation of sports federations towards professional governance, based on clear standards.
Sports federations help to strengthen their legal, administrative and technical structures; To achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 in the sports field.
Nevertheless, the Kingdom has launched an Elite Athlete Development Program. The program’s main focus is to refine and develop elite Saudi athletes, in addition, to improving the talent discovery system, in pursuit of international achievements, whether in the Olympic, continental or regional games.
The program works in two parts. The first is to create the appropriate professional environment for the players. The second is to establish an independent sports center according to the latest international standards to serve the elite players.
Moreover, the Kingdom launched the “Pride” program, which is specialized in the Paralympic Games. It aims to rehabilitate persons with disabilities, discover and develop their sports capabilities, improve their quality of life, enhance their community participation in sports activities, and turn them into sports champions at the local and international levels.
The Ministry of Sports – within the initiatives of the Quality of Life Program – continued to develop and implement the national strategy for sports training, through several training bodies with international standards, most notably the “Leadership Preparation Institute” and “Mahd Academy”.
As part of the efforts of the Quality of Life Program to promote the practice of sport in the community, especially the “Vibrant Society” and “Vibrant Sports Places” initiatives, media campaigns were implemented, and community sporting events were organized for all in all regions of the Kingdom.
This aims to increase the rates of exercising in the community, promote positive lifestyles, and improve public health.
In terms of promoting and increasing sports activities for expatriates, the Sports for All Federation and the Saudi Cricket Federation organized the first international tournament for this sport in the Kingdom.
The cities of Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Yanbu, Abha and others hosted cricket matches throughout 2021.
Also, a running and swimming championships were organized for expatriates, in a bid to to enhance their integration in the Kingdom through their practice of unpopular sports in the Kingdom but major in their countries. This also aims to to overcoming language barriers, and enhancing the quality of life of expatriates; By supporting their practice of positive lifestyles.
In 2021 AD, the Kingdom hosted several international sporting events, most notably – for the second time in a row – the “Saudi Dakar Rally 2021”.
It also hosted a long list of international sporting events, most notably the “Super Globe Handball Championship” and the “Basketball World Tour Finals”. 3X3″ and “Toyota International Eastern Baja Rally”.
Furthermore, the Kingdom hosted the first race of the “Extreme E” World Series, to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change.
As part of the initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom hosted the “Formula 1” events. Formula 1 is one of the most prominent global sporting events, which receives unprecedented international media attention.
The events which were hosted by the city of Jeddah in December 2021, were attended by about 165,000 spectators. It was covered by 98 TV channels, representing 86 countries, and attended by 173 media professionals, representing 129 media outlets from 28 countries.
Hosting international sporting events contributes to enhancing the positive image of the Kingdom internationally and promoting it as a sports and tourism destination. It also contributes to attracting various sports enthusiasts and stimulating the attendance of these sports locally, in addition to contributing to activating the tourism and hospitality sectors and diversifying the sports and entertainment options available to the population.
The initiatives of the Quality of Life Program, which are part of the Saudi Vision 2030, contributed to the growth of the sports sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP, from SAR 2.4 billion to SAR 6.5 billion within two years, an increase of 170%.
The Quality of Life Program’s projects are implemented by the Ministry of Sports, sports federations, and supporting bodies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, and other executive bodies.
They aim to increase the rates of practicing sports activities in the community, achieving sports excellence in regional and global events, in addition to developing the contribution of the sports sector to the national economy. This highlights the Kingdom as a destination for global sports events, and women empowerement, in addition to promoting the discovery and nurturing of sports talent.