Saudi Arabia Zeroes in on Women’s Sports

This summer, Saudi Arabia announced physical education would be a part of girls’ school curriculum. Now, the country is moving steadily ahead: implementing systems and trainings to kick start a national effort to bolster women’s sports access.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education reported last month that 46 women have begun their training to be physical education supervisors. There are 160 vacancies for female education supervisors. All applicants must sit for a competence test in order to be qualified for the job.

The physical education curriculum, which will support women’s sports access and health, is said to be in place by 2020.

Under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program women’s physical health has been, and continues to be, a growing focus across the country. The vision includes a plan to get 40 percent of the country to exercise at least once weekly and has led to government approval for female gym licenses. Vision 2030 has also led to an increase in women’s sports, including Saudi’s first female boxing champion.

Meet Saudi Arabia’s Female Boxing Star

Individual women have taken the lead in Saudi women’s fitness. Saudi Arabia has found its first female boxing champion in 20-year-old Donna Mohammed al-Ghamdi.  The young athlete is the first Saudi female to hold four international medals in boxing and three black belts.

If that’s not impressive enough, consider this: al-Ghamdi just finished high school. Today, al-Ghamdi is supporting efforts to open a Riyadh-based boxing trainer center for men, women and children. The center further aims to train people with special needs for free.

Read more at Saudi Gazette.