His Excellency Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, led a delegation today on a visit to King Faisal schools in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh, accompanied by His Excellency Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the Saudi Minister of Finance.
During the visit, President Maurer attended a friendly 3 vs. 3 female basketball match. Riyadh United women’s team, a branch of Jeddah United Sports Co (JUSC), scored 7 points to win the match against the Diplomats’ Team, represented by female members from various diplomatic missions, who scored 5 points.
After the match, the President had photos taken with the players and the winning team presented His Excellency with their jersey.
The Swiss President addressed players and audience, affirming the importance of sports and its role in bringing people from different cultures and backgrounds together, and inviting the Riyadh United team to visit Switzerland to have friendly matches and training.
“We have a wonderful high school that has probably the best sporting facility in Europe,” he assured the Saudi team, as he underscored the importance of promoting cultural exchanges through sporting events.
Lina Almaeena, member of the Shura Council and co-founder of the Riyadh United team, presented a brief background about the team, noting that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to increase the number of people who play sports in the Kingdom from 13 percent to 40 percent and affirming that sports are crucial for a healthy society with a high quality of life.
Almaeena added: “It’s also a great opportunity for us to socialise on court; such games help us build bridges with different communities and, at the same time, promote health and wellness.”
Dominique Mineur, Ambassador of Belgium to the Kingdom who is also the first woman resident ambassador to Saudi Arabia and leader of the Diplomats’ Team, echoed Ms Almaeena’s comments that events such as these are a great way to socialise and promote cooperation in an informal environment. “They are also a great way to support Saudis in sports.”
Jeddah United, founded by Ms Almaeena in 2011, is the first private sport company in the Kingdom to train girls and boys in team sports such as basketball, volleyball and football with an aim to promote the culture of sport in the country.
The match was attended by Andre Schaller, the Swiss Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
© Press Release 2019