Saudi Gazette report
With the support of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sports unveiled on Monday Mahd Sports Academy.
The new project, which is one of the largest national projects aimed at discovering and developing sporting talents in Saudi Arabia is part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts in recent years to promote sporting activities among youth and nurture their talents.
The academy was launched by Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal during a press conference held in an innovative way in Riyadh, with the participation of public figures, athletes, intellectuals and academics, and blessings from the President of the International Football Federation Gianni Infantino and Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho who made their brief intervention during the ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the sports minister said: “Tonight, I announce to you Mahd Sports Academy with the objective to discover, develop new talents and to create a new generation of champions in various sports over the coming decades.”
He expressed his sincere thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince for their support for the sports in the Kingdom.
He said: “Due to the support of our righteous government, led by the King & the Crown Prince, fueled by his vision. We realized the importance of this project which objective is to prepare athletes to win gold medals and to make the Kingdom proud.”
The minister lauded the local talent and underlined the need to take care of them and nurture them.
“We have numerous talents that need development” that’s been said and repeated in our sports community and I’m one of them. It’s time we pay attention to our local talents and work on their improvement," Prince Abdulaziz added.
The academy is considered one of the largest sports academies around the world, which aims to produce a new generation of Saudi sports champions over the coming years in major regional, continental and global forums, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, among various individual and group games, such as football, basketball, handball, athletics, weightlifting, swimming, jujitsu, karate, judo, gymnastics, rowing, badminton, and more.
This giant project aims to target talents in all regions and cities in the Kingdom, starting at the age of 6 years, which is the most appropriate age for children to start practicing sports that require continuous physical movement and learning of the skills necessary for each game.
The academy intends to construct its buildings in a modern engineering style within three Saudi cities, namely Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. In Riyadh, where construction will begin within the Ministry of Sports headquarters at the beginning of 2021, followed by the city of Jeddah in the vicinity of King Abdullah Sports City in 2022, while in Dammam the construction of the Academy headquarters will begin at the Green Hall area and will be completed in 2023.