RIYADH — An initiative to encourage women to practice sports and take a further step to achieve a healthier lifestyle is the main objective of “SELF” event that stands for (Sport Exhibition for Ladies Fashion). It will be held in Inaya Medical College here from Feb 6-9 and includes several activities, workshops, and classes for women. To shed some light on the first exhibition of its kind, Saudi Gazette met with Ibraheem Bahathek, general manager of the entire project.
“I am so proud that Saudi women have currently reached a level where they are widely supported by the government and the majority of the society in multiple sectors. Sports is never less in its importance, and today we have seen them in the stadiums of different matches. In this event we want them to participate in classes, learn the basics of new sport that they can participate in and enjoy being healthy,” he said.
“There is a high demand for sports fashion and many sports equipment. The main theme of the exhibition is to cover the latest updates in sports fashion for women. This is not going to happen in a traditional way. There will be a huge exhibition that covers fashion. We also have different sports competitions and races among female Saudi sports coaches. I personally was surprised at the huge number of the professional Saudi coaches we have in the Kingdom,” he added.
Additionally there will be different level of female sports show that has never happened before here. “Along with even mental games and competitions, workshops on sports injuries, and physiotherapy. The event is also expected to have a very huge segment on horseback riding by Saudi female equestrian experts,” he mentioned.
The event, which is supported by the General Authority of Sports, Ministry of Education and the Worlds Sports Federation, Bahatheq hopes will be an eye-opener for investors, especially with the huge investment opportunities in sports industry especially that target women.
Dr. Asma Al-Yamani, the supervisor of the event, told Saudi Gazette that the industry is considered one of the ways to lead to economic growth. “This event goes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 that pushes for women empowerment and having their contribution to the economic GDP.”
She commented by saying that this event will lay the foundation for a solid industry that can cover all women’s needs in sports varying from fashion, equipment, gyms, physiotherapy, and even to educate them on sports injuries. It has a huge potential for investment. Especially that the industry is in its infancy in the Kingdom.
“There is an objective in the Vision 2030 to increase the number of people who do exercises from 13% to 20%. We want to send a message that sports is not only for losing weight but should be part of individual’s lives and that is one of the things we want to promote through this event,” she stressed.