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National School Sports Strategy Saudi Arabia: Global Advisory Committee meets in Riyadh

Rise Global was represented by Managing Director Michael Dahdal at the recent Global Advisory Committee meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The National School Sports Strategy is a major undertaking by the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia where there is a growing realization that School Sport and Physical Education are a fundamental component of overarching Sport and Health systems.

“Physical Education and School Sport are recognized by many of the world’s top sporting nations as the critical entry level to lifelong participation in sport and physical activity”, said Michael Dahdal, who is also a member of the Global Advisory Committee helping develop the strategy.

This was confirmed by the extensive international benchmarking conducted over recent months, which included 16 countries (8 in-depth). Australia is one of the countries which is of particular interest and Rise Global hosted a Saudi Arabian delegation in Sydney and Canberra in September 2011.

“It is important to note that you cannot import a system, there is no such thing as one size fits all, therefore it is about gaining an understanding of international best practices and reconciling those with what would be most effective within the local context. A comprehensive local analysis has also been conducted so as to ensure the strategy adequately reflects the needs and aspirations of Saudi Arabia specifically” said Dahdal.

Dahdal also suggested that, “as children, our first exposure to sport is usually at school, so it is imperative we have a positive and enjoyable experience and are allowed to develop the basic skills and confidence which will help break down the barriers to prolonged participation beyond school”.

The final strategy is expected to be completed in the early part of 2012.

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