RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary sporting transformation in recent years is set to continue with the launch of a new adventure called Mahd Sports Academy, with the support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The interest of Saudi Twitter users was aroused last week when a new account started posting videos suggesting a new project, with Kingdom Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal promoting the content. from his personal account with a caption: “The time has come.”
Mahd Sports Academy launched their account tweeting: “Much has been lost and the time has come to remedy everything.”
The tweet was followed by a snapshot of a little girl telling the world that her dreams would not be abandoned. A clip of a child holding a soccer ball was also shared on the social media platform, with the caption: “The time has come to scream your name.” Just a day ago, the same account shared a video of a little girl with a tennis racket and finally a boy in the swimming pool.
According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the Mahd Sports Academy will be available to all Saudi children from the age of 6 and, according to Arab News sources, the academy will be accessible to both genders.
The Kingdom Sports Ministry plans to exploit the talents of young Saudis from an early age, under the supervision of highly experienced technical and administrative experts and in accordance with the latest international practices and techniques.
The Mahd Sports Academy, which will be unveiled next week, will be one of the largest sports academies in the world, with the aim of building a new generation of Saudi sports champions in the coming years, in important regional, continental and global events.
By cultivating young Saudi talents and giving them the best opportunity to thrive, the Kingdom hopes to improve its sports record in events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
Since the launch of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program, the Kingdom has witnessed a significant change in the sports sector by creating a global professional climate to attract the world’s attention, diversifying the resources of the economy and creating a vibrant sports community.
This move has seen the Kingdom host important sporting events, such as the Spanish and Italian Super Cups, the Dakar Rally, Formula E and the world heavyweight championship.
And hoping to tap into this change, Prince Abdulaziz, from his position as Minister of Sports in December 2018, worked with the Director General of the Leadership Institute of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Faisal Hammad and the Ministry of Education for work with physical education teachers and schoolchildren aged 6 or over to discover and promote talent in the cities of Saudi Arabia.
This is the first step in building future champions. After discovering the talent, they will then work with veteran coaches who will be recruited for all games, for both genders. Training will begin for these children in their cities until they reach the age when they can join clubs and teams.
The Ministry of Sports has also concluded more than 40 agreements with sports universities, in which Saudi students have been enrolled to obtain important programs and diplomas, such as the University of Real Madrid, the prestigious Harvard University and the Dutch University of Johan. Cruyff, with the aim of obtaining qualifications that will benefit the Saudis over time.
Saudi Arabia is hoping for a sports boom, which could change the course of sport in the Kingdom in a decade, with ideal timing that matches the Vision 2030 goal of attracting investments from all over the world in new projects such as NEOM, Al Qiddiya , Al-Ula, Red Sea and Downtown Jeddah.