The sports sector for women has the potential to create 250,000 jobs, according to Vice President of Women’s Affairs of the General Authority of Sports Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan.
“It’s time to include women in sports for a healthier society and a productive economy,” she said addressing an audience on the second day of the MiSK Global Forum here Wednesday.
“We — especially women — must incorporate physical fitness in our lives,” said Princess Reema, who assumed office on Aug. 1.
“Our role is to allow this nation more opportunities for physical fitness and health and to create healthy citizens. We’re a partner of the health sector,” she said.
Sports are a large part of the economy, she added, urging members of the private sector and young entrepreneurs to reach out and invest in the sports sector.
Sports have the power to change society, according to renowned athlete and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo, chairman and president of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation.
“Keeping our women healthy is a challenge. We need to invest for women at a young age. The more the investment, the more the productivity.”
Asked what to expect for women’s sports in the coming years, Princess Reema said, “The goal is to offer women the opportunity to engage more.”
“What exists today is an army of enthusiastic women who understand the value for this country,” she said. “We need to invest in unity and team spirit.”
“As the labor force increases, we need to diligently practice skills. I have noticed that the private sector is engaged. They’re looking for someone to provide a roadmap. Our culture is different and our needs are different,” she said.
The General Authority of Sports seeks to work with entrepreneurs and unlock many sectors in sports, including manufacturing, retail, tourism, the repair industry, sports journalism and more.
“If we want to have an elite team, we need to invest in school and post-school level children. Today we may not have the expertise. But we need to create the business that trains people,” Princess Reema said.
The rewards are not only financial, but also social. Sports help build an integrated and healthy family. “We are a family-oriented and a mobile people,” she said, adding, “Only recent history has made us sedentary.”
She invited partners to invest and help create a sports ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.
Addressing the Forum, Faris Al-Torki, founder & CEO of Faris Breakfast, highlighted the main tips of how to do business with family and successfully manage it.
He also discussed the significance of striking a balance between family and business.
He said personal branding plays a crucial role in the business.
Omar Samra, the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to reach the top of Mount Everest, said he wants to help Arab youth re-connect individuals with nature and ultimately themselves through authentic and ethical life-transformational experiences around the globe.
“Besides I want to inspire those young individuals not to be afraid of abandoning the corporate track and to start bravely their own businesses and to accept heartbreaking losses as an essential part of your road to success,” said Samra, who founded Egypt’s Wild Guanabana.
Alvy Ray Smith, cofounder of two successful startups — Pixar and Altamira, told Saudi Gazette that computers are getting revolutionarily very fast. “And we as humankind must not lag behind. On the contrary, we must keep advancing — as it is never too late.”
Smith was the first director of computer graphics at Lucasfilm and an original member of the Computer Graphics Lab of the New York Institute of Technology. He was also the first Graphics Fellow at Microsoft and has witnessed the birth of the personal computer during his time with Xerox PARC.
Smith also proposed and negotiated the Academy-Award winning Disney computer animation production system, CAPS, and was instrumental as a Regent in initiating the Visible Human Project of the National Library of Medicine.