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Everything you need to know about Saudi Games 2022

Boxing, badminton and baloot – inside the country’s biggest national sporting event.

On your marks, get set, Saudi. Saudi Games 2022, the kingdom’s most significant national sporting event, is ready to go full steam ahead. The inaugural tournament takes place in Riyadh from 27 October to 7 November, and celebrates sporting talent across the country. 

Saudi Games 2022 is welcoming an impressive 6,000 athletes, which represent more than 200 clubs in the country. In total, there are 45 individual and team events, including five para-sports. The games are all part of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince’s Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to increase participation in society. 

As the country’s own version of the Olympics, the tournament showcases long-established as well as unexpected sports. Categories include triathlon, tennis, table tennis, and taekwondo, as well as chess, skateboarding, and, in Saudi style, e-sports. Plus, the popular Saudi Arabian card game baloot – similar to the French balote, it sees players compete to win tricks. 

Additional sports include padel, cycling, bowling, karting, weightlifting, wrestling, darts, badminton; Thai boxing (Muay Thai); billiards, squash, sailing, climbing and athletics.

It’s not just medals up for grabs, but also prize money. The SAR 200 million prize money is distributed among winners, as gold medallists receive SAR 1 million, silver medallists receive SAR 300,000, and bronze medallists receive SAR 100,000.

Saudi Games 2022 torch relay

The torch for the Saudi Games was launched on 11 September with a glittering ceremony. The event was attended by Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Vice President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Director of the Saudi Games, and Princess Dilayl Bint Nahar Al Saud, deputy director of the Saudi Games.

During the ceremony, Prince Fahd stated: “Our mission is to inspire our country, particularly future generations of the Kingdom’s youth, to achieve sporting excellence at all levels – locally, regionally and worldwide. The Saudi Games brings us closer toward establishing a generation capable of reaching the Olympic Games by motivating and encouraging sporting clubs and federations to foster future competitors.”

The torch is making its way around the kingdom, and will travel 3,500 kilometres for 22 days. On its journey, the torch will visit Dhahran, Al-Khobar and Dammam, Al-Ahsa Governorate, Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Taif, Al-Baha and Asir region. The torch then travels to Jazan, Najran region, Al Ula and back to Riyadh. The torch relay finishes on 10 October in Diriyah.

Volunteering at Saudi Games 2022 

If you want to be a good sport, join the volunteering team. Volunteers are not paid, but in true sporting spirit, it’s the taking part that counts. The minimum time is four hours a day, and the maximum time is eight hours a day. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to be a part of the action and make friends along the way. 

Saudi Games 2022 ticket details have not yet been released. Visit FACT for the latest information. 

GO: Visit https://saudigames.sa for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, preferably with the promise of wine, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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