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DUBAI: An ambitious SR 2.6 billion ($ 693 million) strategy to support Saudi sports federations was launched on Wednesday as part of the Kingdom’s quality of life program.

Saudi Minister of Sports and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic Committee, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, unveiled the plan which aims to develop the sports sector in general and organize the work of the country’s sports federations.

The initiative will also create an infrastructure to support federations and help increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product by 0.8%, thereby increasing community participation in sport to 40% by 2030.

Thanking the Saudi government for its support for sport in the Kingdom, Prince Abdulaziz said: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the growing number of Saudi sports federations, from 32 in 2015, to 91 sports federations and unions this year.

“Today we are entering a new phase by defining a comprehensive strategy to develop sports federations in various games and to ensure that a generation of athletes is able to participate in various tournaments, games and sports to hoist the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among the most important. regional and international events, ”he added.

The federations will receive support according to certain criteria. This will include having to develop the game, increase the number of players, participate in regional and international tournaments, promote sports tourism, help increase the popularity of the game in the Kingdom, contribute to the promotion of culture, the country’s heritage and national economy, and create a range of diversified investment opportunities.

Union funding will be split into two parts, the first being core funding to cover areas such as running costs and salaries. Catalyst funding will involve funding packages to reward unions for their development and results. Organizations will need to prove their operational capacity – strategy, objectives, organization and governance – technical capacity in terms of strength and number of tournaments, and the extent of human skills development technically and administratively.

The new strategy will also include incentives for federations when players earn medals.

At the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a gold medal will be worth 1 million SR, 500,000 SR silver, 250,000 SR bronze, plus 100,000 SR for qualification.

The rewards for the medals at the world championships will be SR 500,000 for gold, SR 250,000 for silver and SR 125,000 for bronze, while the Youth Olympic Games will see SR 200,000, 100 000 SR and 50,000 SR for gold, silver and bronze, respectively, with qualifiers receiving 25,000 SR.

The Asian Games, Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games and Asian Beach Games will order 240,000 SR for a gold medal, 120,000 SR for silver and 60,000 SR for bronze, and the Asian Championships for bronze. Youth athletics 50,000 SR, 40,000 SR and 30,000 SR for gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

The Islamic Solidarity Games incentives will see SR 180,000 for gold winners, SR 90,000 for silver medalists and SR 45,000 for bronze. Federations will also receive SR 50,000 in exchange for national records and SR 300,000 for achieving community sport participation goals.

The Prince also announced the launch of the Elite Athlete Development Program in a new form.

The program aims to improve the efficiency and readiness of athletes in the long term, to implement healthy lifestyles, to achieve excellence in international sports and to create high performance environments based on international standards and sports theories.

The program will consist of three main phases involving the establishment of the Saudi Olympic Training Center as an independent body managed under the supervision of the Saudi Olympic Committee, improving results and performance, reaching the advanced stages of the Olympic Games and Asians, preparing a sustainable network of elite athletes and taking advantage of investment and competitive opportunities in the final stages of the Asian and Olympic Games.

Elite players will be selected after reviewing their performance levels from 2018, with 180 targets in the first year, rising to 480 male and female players by 2023.

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