Saudi Arabia is moving ahead in leaps and bounds as the country races towards its reaching its Vision 2030 objectives. Speaking of racing, the Kingdom recently held its first ever women’s cycling race series held in Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar, and over 1,000 women participated across the three races which took place between 11 October 2019 and 3 January 2020.
The series, organised by the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) and supported by the Saudi Cycling Federation, encourages women to participate in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles.
According to official figures, cycling is growing in popularity across the Kingdom with around 1.1% of the population cycling on a weekly basis, of which 32% of those cyclists are women. That’s almost one in three.
The cycling race series kicked off from Princess Nora University in Riyadh on 11 October 2019, featuring over 800 participants with the three top-ranked cyclists awarded valuable prizes. First place winner Nadiah Skoukdi was followed by runner up Floria Martias and third place winner Ahlam Alzaid.
The second race was held in Jeddah’s Al-Joharah Stadium with more than 200 women competing, and celebrated first place winner Floria Martias, runner up Arwa Alamoudi, and third place winner Samar Rahbeini.
The third and final race in the three-part series, held on 3 January at the Corniche in Al-Khobar, saw athletes Nadia Skoukdi, Floria Marinas, and Nasima Siddikui awarded first, second and third place respectively.
As part of many goals of Saudi Vision 2030 the SFA has been mandated to increase the percentage in athletics and an overall physically fit population by upping participation in physical activity by 40%. To do this, the SFA provides access for all members of society to take part in a wide range of sporting activities.
Saudi’s General Sport Authority (GSA) has identified a target of raising weekly sport and physical activity levels in Saudi Arabia to 40% by 2030.