Saudi Arabia merges Olympic and Paralympic committees
The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) will merge with its sister organization, the Saudi Arabian Paralympic Committee (SAPC), it was announced on Thursday at the 25th SAOC general assembly in Riyadh.
In a statement from SAOC president Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, read by Prince Fahad bin Jalawi, the merger was explained to be the result of a mutual agreement between the two bodies to create a unified platform of services for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes and staff.
“Today, we are writing a new chapter in Saudi Olympic and Paralympic history. We plan to fill this chapter with remarkable Saudi achievements,” Prince Abdulaziz said in his statement. “The goal of this merger is to develop the sporting sector through our collaboration.”
He continued: “We want to create and unify strategies for both entities to obtain a high level of performance from all athletes, in addition to creating a link between athletes of different capabilities to communicate with, learn from, and motivate one another.”
The assembly also featured the presentation of several awards. The Olympic Excellence award was given to Dr Mohammed Saleh Al-Konbaz, president of the Saudi Anti-Doping Committee (SAADC), while the Sports Development Award went to the Quality of Life Program for co-creating three successful initiatives alongside the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee: Development of Elite Athletes, Saudi Olympic Training Center, and Sports Federations Support.
The general assembly also welcomed three new entities as members of the SAOC: The Falcons Club, the Saudi Aviation Club, and the Saudi Royal Guards, all of whom, according to a press release, “will significantly contribute to the Saudi sports sector.”