JEDDAH: A series of multi-sport park facilities and activities are set to be launched in three Saudi Arabian cities to encourage residents to be more active.

After signing an agreement with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MoMRA), the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) will launch parks and public spaces in Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha by introducing a range of multi-sport and running and walking programs, equipment rentals, and community academies, all part of the SFA’s wider strategy to impact long-term behavior and entrench positive attitudes toward physical activity.

With the first pilot activations due to be launched at the end of this year, the initiative is the federation’s first step towards delivering its Active Places mandate.  

The ceremony, held at the Ministry of Sport, was attended by Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sport, and Majid bin Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Hoqail, the acting minister of municipal and rural affairs, and minister of housing. The agreement was signed by SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, and the Deputy Minister of Planning and Programs Khalid bin Mohammad AlDughaither.

“Every opportunity to encourage young men and women of this country to practice sports is a valuable approach that paves the way for the future of our country on all scales,” said Prince Abdul Aziz. “This agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between various sectors, in order to achieve the goals of Vision 2030, which among its priorities is to give its citizens various opportunities in all aspects including the sports side,” he added.

“This comes in line with the newly released bylaws regarding the use of municipal real estate. The bylaws enable the development and activation of these facilities by other government entities and in cooperation with the private sector, will support different opportunities across vital sectors,” said Al-Hoqail.

“During a year of successes for the Sports for All Federation, this agreement stands out as a major achievement,” said Prince Khaled. “Working closely with the Quality of Life Program, we have activated people, and now, with our partners at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, we will be activating places. With the strong support of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal and the Ministry of Sports, we hope to see our country’s parks become hubs of physical activity, health, and wellness.

“Every park that we are able to put to work for the fitness of people across Saudi Arabia gets us closer to realizing Vision 2030’s goals of a healthy and active community,” he added.

“We have prepared a plan in collaboration with the SFA to implement the memorandum. A number of parks and public spaces have been designated in different Saudi cities. This will improve the quality of services offered in this memorandum, the experience of those who try it, as well as enabling optimal use of municipal buildings,” said AlDughaither.

The SFA will be the lead entity in designing and launching the parks; developing plans and managing operations, as well measuring the impact of the initiative. MoMRA will act as an enabler and facilitator with municipalities to ensure ease of access and provide any necessary permits or endorsements.

Active Places is one of three initiatives the SFA is responsible for delivering as part of the Quality of Life Program under Vision 2030; the other two being Active People, and Initiatives for Residents of Saudi Arabia.

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