Saudi women are very much involved in sports: Minister

Riyadh: Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, who is also the head of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), said on Sunday that Saudi women make up 30 percent of the board members of sports federations.

While attending the periodic briefing of government communication, he said that the contribution of the sports sector to the gross domestic product has grown from $640 million to $1.7 billion, an increase of 170 percent within two years.

The minister indicated that the percentage of sports practitioners in the Kingdom increased from 13 percent to 19 percent. “The sports groups have increased to 450, out of the 200 groups are women’s groups.”

The minister was quoted by the Saudi Gazette as saying, “The establishment of private sports investment companies approved for the first time for 13 sports clubs and federations.”

Speaking about the international events hosted by the Kingdom, he said that the Formula 1 race will be held for the first time in Saudi Arabia in December, and Saudi Arabia will host the 2023 World Martial Arts Games.

As part of the Vision 2030 plans being implemented in the country under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, many new areas have been opened up for women.

Earlier, the Saudi Ministry of Defence had announced that both men and women could apply for various military positions. In December last year alone, the Iruharam office recruited about 1,500 women to various sections of the Masjid-ul-Haram.