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Another Saudi First: Princess Reema Heads Sports Federation

Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud

For over a year, Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan has been working hard on increasing female participation in sports in Saudi Arabia. So it comes as no surprise that she has been appointed to head a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, becoming the first woman in the Kingdom to lead a federation covering sporting activities for both men and women.

Princess Reema has been named President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports in extensive changes in the Olympic Committee and sports federations. Daughter of a former Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Princess Reema is a graduate in museology from an American university.

According to an article published last year in Al Arabiya, the Princess – then Vice President of Women’s Affairs of the General Authority of Sports – explained the importance of women in sports, pointing to women’s participation as having the potential to create a substantial 250,000 jobs.

“It’s time to include women in sports for a healthier society and a productive economy,” she said addressing the MiSK Global Forum.

Within this earlier role, she also focused on getting more Saudis to embrace a more active and healthy way of life, which also benefits the country as a whole, and she worked on improving the kingdom’s international competitiveness.

In November last year, it was reported by Arab News that Saudi Arabia announced plans to develop its sports sector with a fund worth more than $600 million helped by the privatization of football teams.

The Princess’ appointment to such a prominent role is the latest in a string of similar appointments in the Kingdom. Several women have been assigned top jobs throughout the Kingdom, which is undergoing a huge program of reforms and is working on encouraging more women to join the workforce.

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