- Conference sessions covered many topics, including the positive relationship between community sports and health
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has recently returned from Germany, where it represented the Kingdom at the 28th TAFISA (The Association For International Sport for All) World Congress in Dusseldorf, held from November 1-5. The SFA joined delegates from all over the world, coming together under the congress motto, ‘Sport for All: More together than ever’, to enjoy an expansive conference program, sharing experience, expertise, and knowledge.
More than 350 participants from 70 countries were in attendance, with 15 conference sessions, four evening events, and three ‘Sport for All Case Study Visits’, involving excursions to Dusseldorf sports venues and the surrounding area. The main topics of the congress were: inclusion in sports, sports spaces and infrastructure, sharing expertise and knowledge, the impact of climate change on grassroots sports, sports as a peacekeeper, people’s well-being, plus sports policy and youth sports development.
Alanood Faisal AlOthaimeen, the SFA’s Director of Strategy, participated in a panel discussion entitled ‘Crafting a human-centered well-being model in Sport for All’. It explored the use of existing knowledge and data to show more people the positive connection between sport and health. Other speakers on the panel included Masanori Tamazawa, Managing Director of Sasakawa Sports Foundation, Japan, and a member of the TAFISA board of directors; Dr. Henry-Bernard Baptiste, a national record holder in the shotput, and Director of the Mauritius Sports Council; and Marumo Murole, Chairperson of the Botswana National Sport Commission.
Ideas raised in the session included the idea of developing business models, based on existing information, to enhance the appeal of sporting practices, encouraging people to adopt healthy and active lifestyles.
The SFA’s participation at the TAFISA World Congress underscores the close relationship between the Kingdom and TAFISA, a leading Sports for All institution, with 383 member organizations in more than 170 countries, working closely with the UN, WHO, UNESCO, and others. In line with the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative, the SFA aims to increase the proportion of those engaging in sports and physical activity within the Kingdom, launching regional and national initiatives, targeting different age groups and demographics, working with schools, businesses and community groups, and establishing new facilities and events.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Saudi Arabia will host the 9th TAFISA World Sport for All Games in Riyadh in 2028, welcoming 1,000 delegation members from 100 countries, and 70,000 participants and visitors. Held every four years, with the host countries decided by the TAFISA General Assembly, this marks the first time the event will take place in the MENA region. Existing facilities and open spaces in Riyadh will welcome the athletes, and further encourage their long-term use by Saudi citizens. The Kingdom will also develop a sustainability strategy to ensure the TAFISA Games are environmentally friendly.