RIYADH — The supreme organizing committee for the inaugural Saudi Games has announced that the largest national sporting event in the kingdom’s history will take place from October 27 to November 7, 2022, postponed from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the occasion of the announcement, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said that the launch of the Saudi Games marks a milestone in the history of Saudi sport and the government’s approval of the industry.

“We reviewed the previous mechanism where the 13 regions competed against one another. After several workshops with the national sports federations, we found that many areas will struggle to compete due to the lack of official regional governing bodies to recruit and train athletes for the Saudi Games. Therefore, we have identified competition between clubs representing regions and cities across the kingdom as the optimal way to achieve our objectives in this milestone event.”

“Today, we have over 100 active clubs overseeing more than 15 different sports, which is a direct result of the clubs’ support strategy, which enters its fourth year with tangible success. This change we announce today will serve as a driver to motivate clubs to pay more attention to its various sports,” he said.

“Our primary objective in the Saudi Game is to produce new sporting heroes through the Elite Athletes Program launched less than a year ago. It will discover new talents through the Saudi Games and commit to empowering them to reach podiums in continental and international competitions,” Prince Abdulaziz added.

The organizing committee also announced a change to the mechanisms of the games being hosted in the capital Riyadh, with clubs competing instead of the previously announced regional system. The Saudi Games will see over 200 clubs competing in 45 individual and team sports.

In addition to medals, athletes will compete for record prizes exceeding SR200 million, with first-placed clubs receiving SR1 million, runners-up receiving SR350,000 and third-placed participants receiving SR100,000. In contrast, in individual sports, the same prizes apply for golden, silver and bronze medalists, respectively.

Additionally, to provide the chance for amateur athletes and individuals to participate in the Saudi Games, they will be allowed to compete under the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee flag in individual sports. This will be through registering for trials starting on July 31 and continuing until August 7. The trials will occur between August 15 and September 10 in 22 sports according to the schedule to be announced in due course.

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