By Kent Gray
Golf has been championed as a key recreation offering as part of ‘Vision 2030’, the strategic framework designed to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy and mobilise its population.
The Saudi Golf Federation is the driving force for the royal and ancient game in the Kingdom and has just realised another major participation goal by signing a memorandum of understanding with Tadrees Holding, the country’s leading education network.
The MoU will see a “Get Into Golf” programme rolled out in partner schools across the Kingdom.
The programme seeks to implement golf coaching strategies across the Tadrees schools network and “enrich the lives of Saudi youths”. It will also establish an educational framework for physical educators within the Tadrees network to expand their knowledge base by providing them with additional skills and qualifications to enhance the diversity of their teaching.
“Our ultimate goal at the Saudi Golf Federation is to grow the game of golf, so the maximum amount of people are aware and can experience the benefits and value of the game,” said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO, Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi.
“Working closely with Tadrees Holding is essential to delivering the tiered programme we strive to at Saudi Arabian schools.”
As part of the agreement with Tadrees Holding, the Saudi Golf Federation will appoint a representative to act as the coordinator overseeing the roll out plan and to act as the liaison for communications between both entities. The Saudi Golf Federation will also loan free of charge SNAG (Starting New At Golf) coaching equipment to all schools within the Tadrees network, along with golf coaching education to the physical education teachers by way of the Federation’s “Train the Trainer” programme, which will see a qualified professionals assigned to provide assistance to ensure best practice and successful implementation.
“Creating a strategic alliance with the Saudi Golf Federation, a forward-thinking and visionary organisation, is a natural progression in our continuation of developing a world-class and modern educational programme within schools and higher education” said Walid Bahamdan, Board Member of Tadrees Holding.
“Aligned with our vision, the skills and character development golf offers has a direct and indirect opportunity to support the Kingdoms children and develop a culture of inclusion and excitement towards golf participation by providing children in our schools with golf uniforms, T-shirts, caps, giveaways and certificates of achievement.”
The Saudi Golf Federation is also working with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to integrate their goals and support the development of new sports, skills, and careers at primary secondary and higher education levels. This will be delivered through a tiered, progressive educational programme through the physical educators by providing the training, equipment, and framework to conduct the foundation levels of golf introduction.
Golf Saudi, a subsidiary of the Saudi Golf Federation, has also embarked on its own mass participation and education. It has targeted its creating 3,700 jobs and developing between 13,000-24,000 new golfers by 2030.
As part of vision 2030, Saudi Arabia endeavours to provide students at schools, and particularly in higher education, a modern curriculum with a key focus on character development, as well as literacy, numeracy, and other skills. The Saudi Golf Federation’s educational programme will integrate with existing Tadrees Holdings’ initiatives and both parties will strive to place golf within the sports curriculum.