RIYADH - Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud won Arab Sports Personality Award, on Wednesday, at the 9th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award ceremony held in Dubai.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award is the biggest award of its kind in the world and one of the entities under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Princess Reema said that she wants to see more women take up top positions in Saudi Arabian sports federation and inspire the generations to follow.
The Saudi princess was the first female to lead a Saudi sports federation when she took over as president of the Federation for Community Sports in October, Princess Reema is also Deputy President of Saudi Arabia’s Sports Authority for Planning & Development.
Her pioneering role in the founding and regulation of women’s sports in Saudi Arabia backed up the introduction of sports among girls in public schools.
Princess Reema won the prestigious Arab Sports Personality award at the 9th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, which comes under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Thanking His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his “pioneering approach to sports and athletes, not just local but the wider Arab region”, which has seen the MBR Creative Sports Award become the “dream of every Arab athlete and official”, Princess Reema said asserting her hope to see many more Saudi women follow her lead.
“I am hoping to see women in the top hierarchy of every sports federation in Saudi Arabia , for they will then become role models for the women who follow,” said Princess Reema as she spelt out her dreams for sports in Saudi Arabia in the main session of the 9th Sports Creativity Forum on Tuesday at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers’ Godolphin Ballroom.
“It is important that women take up these positions, learn on the job and then pass on their knowledge to the next generation.”
Women’s sports, however, is not the principal focus of Princess Reema . As head of Community Sports, she is trying to reach out to a wider segment of the society and hoping to increase the pool of people playing sports.
“When I first came into sports administration, the goal was to develop women's sport and expand its base in Saudi Arabia ,” she said. “But soon I discovered it is youth sport that needs greater attention. So we had to change our strategy of focusing on women’s sport and turn our attention towards youth sport in the country.
“We had a meeting with all the federations and we decided that our goal will be to increase the number of youths playing individual sports. We need a pool of at least 20,000 if we hope to find 100 good ones, and that is our goal.”