Saudi Arabia announced the opening of what is set to become one of the largest sports facilities in the world! Mahd Sports Academy was launched last week by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Sports and with the support Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Described as one of the largest national projects ever, the Academy aims to scout, support, and train a new generation of champions in various sports, from football and basketball, swimming and gymnastics, with the aim of eventually having them compete in key international sport events such as the World Cup and Olympics.
"Our goal is to get 5 medals at the 2028 Olympics followed by 10 medals at the 2032 Olympics," said the executive manager of Mahd Sports Academy. pic.twitter.com/SaUkxX06BL— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) July 28, 2020
The unveiling of Mahd Sports Academy took place during a press conference in Riyadh, announced by Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, with the participation of renowned athletes such as football players Fabio Capello, Roberto Mancini and Edwin Van der Sar, public figures, intellectuals, and academics, and with brief appearances by President of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) Gianni Infantino and Portuguese football coach José Mourinho.
Saudi Arabia unveiled @MahdAcademy, set to be one of the largest sporting academies in the world over the next 10 years. The project focuses on discovering and developing local Saudi athletes, both girls and boys, to allow them to compete and lead internationally. pic.twitter.com/ubsHnHOXnT— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) July 28, 2020
Speaking on the occasion, Prince Abdulaziz expressed his views on the opening of this landmark facility, saying, “Due to the support of our government, led by the King and Crown Prince, and fueled by his vision, we realized the importance of this project, which aims to prepare athletes to win gold medals and make the Kingdom proud […] This project is a dream step for Saudi Arabia, with the nation now focused on creating world-class Saudi talent that will make their country proud.”
In 2021, the construction of the academy will begin at the Sports Ministry HQ in Riyadh –and then Jeddah in the following year.— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) July 28, 2020
The construction of the academy's headquarters in Dammam is set for completion by 2023. pic.twitter.com/bKLrfIZLcQ
Mahd Sports Academy will welcome talents from all regions across the Kingdom, and is open to applicants from the age of 6 onwards. The Academy will have state-of-the-art facilities in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, with construction of Riyadh’s center commencing in the beginning of 2021. Next up will be in Jeddah, the facility located in King Abdullah Sports City, with construction set to begin in 2022, and the facility in Damman will act as the headquarters of Mahd Sports Academy and will be located in the Green Hall area, with completion set for 2023.