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The General Sports Authority (GSA) is the government body responsible for sports in Saudi Arabia. The General Sports Authority was previously known as the General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW), which was created in 1974.[1][2]

General Sports Authority
General Sports Authority official logo.png
Agency overview
Formed1974; 45 years ago (1974)
Agency executive
  • Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Websitewww.gsa.gov.sa

Contents

HistoryEdit

The General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW) was established in 1974 by royal decree by the late King Faisal Bin Abdul-Aziz.[1] In July 1987, the GPYW launched the Leadership Institute campus, the main Saudi entity accredited with training the youth to become expert trainers in sport.[3].

The GPYW became known as the General Sports Authority in May 2016, following a royal decree restructuring the entity and placing Prince Abdullah bin Musaad Al Saud as its chairman.[4]

Mohammed Al-Sheikh was appointed to the position of chairman of GSA in April 2017, replacing Prince Abdullah bin Musaad Al Saud.[5] On September 6, Mohammed Al-Sheikh was replaced by Turki bin Abdel Muhsin Al-Asheikh at this position.[6]

FootballEdit

In 2014, the GSA unveiled a new stadium, King Abdullah Sports City (KASC), which hosted the final of the 2014 King Cup.[7]

After the appointment of Turki Al-Asheikh as chairman in 2017, a committee was formed to find local talent in Saudi Arabian youth, and develop them into professional footballers. 70 young persons were admitted in the first edition of the program.[8] Some tournaments and award systems were also restructured: The Crown Prince Cup was renamed the Super Cup, and the First Class Tournament became the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Tournament. The reward of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup was raised from SAR 5.5 million to SAR 10 million.[9]

Women in sportsEdit

On August 1st, 2016, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud became the vice-president of Women’s Affairs at the GSA.[10]

In July 2017, the Saudi government announced physical education classes would be made available to girls in public state schools.[11]

WWEEdit

Greatest Royal RumbleEdit

On March 5, 2018, WWE and the Saudi General Sports Authority advertised the Greatest Royal Rumble to be held on 27 April at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

The event showcased a 50-men Royal Rumble match rather than the traditional 30-men for the first time in the history of WWE. Braun Strowman, who was the 41st entrant in the match, won by lastly eliminating Big Cass. Strowman later received the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Trophy and a new Belt Kingdom Championship from Chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority, Turki bin Abdel Muhsin Al-Asheikh and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

This event marked the beginning of a ten-year strategic multi-platform partnership with WWE and the Saudi General Sports Authority.

DescriptionEdit

The GSA represents Saudi Arabian sport at an international level and manages the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee as well as all thirty Saudi sports federations. Locally, it defines all sporting objectives.[1] Current work by the GSA covers five areas:[12]

  • Increasing the society’s level of participation in sports and physical activity
  • Creating a competitive sports industry
  • Developing the quality of local sports facilities
  • Improving financial sustainability of the sports sector
  • Achieving more transparency in its institutional performance and culture

Most sports facilities in Saudi Arabia are owned and managed by the GSA. This includes twenty-four sports cities and stadiums such as the King Fahd International Stadium as well as indoor halls and swimming pools.[1] Twenty-two youth hostels with sports facilities are operated by the GSA across Saudi Arabia as well as two permanent youth camps in Ta'if and Ha'il.[13]

GovernanceEdit

The following are past chairmen of the General Sports Authority:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit