Gymnastics in Saudi Arabia

FIG posted the official write up of our week long MAG Academy Level 1:

For the second time, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) organised a joint Olympic Solidarity-FIG Academy in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity Programme (OS). The Gymnastics Federation of Saudi Arabia hosted this event on June 4-11, 2014, in the capital city Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia became the 57th FIG member federation to host an Academy. …

Twenty-one coaches attended the Academy. Twenty were from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen. …

Saudi Arabia MAG L1 participants 2014

The highest results were shared by Hashem Alhashem of Saudi Arabia and Ebrahim Alabdali of Yemen. The third best result was achieved by Maki Almobireek of Saudi Arabia. …

read more – Saudi Arabia joints list of FIG Academy host countries

The exam in Academy Level 1 is challenging, including detailed anatomy and biomechanics. Half the course is Theory, half Practical.

Gymnastics lecture

Saudi Tsuk

The National Training Center in Riyadh is an excellent facility. Men’s Artistic Gymnastics only, however.

I was pleased to be asked to assist course leader Chris Evans of Great Britain at this one. He’s done many Academies in many disciplines going all the way back to Academy #2.

Chris and Rick

In the Kingdom everyone stops 5 times a day for prayer. Conveniently in the Riyadh gym, coaches and gymnasts use the Floor Exercise mat.

Saudi prayer

a few more photos

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

10 thoughts on “Gymnastics in Saudi Arabia”

  1. @Veronika Saudi Arabia has perhaps the strictest rules when it comes to women’s rights, especially in certain regions. I am positive that women have to wear some sort of hijab when out in public, and in certain regions they have to wear a burqa. So I think it would be extremely hard for a woman to have to coach in this position, let alone do the gymnastics like the girls have to. I know in other Arab countries the girls wear a special leotard or wear shorts but I don’t think that is even a possiblity in Saudi Arabia. It is sad to be honest, I am not anti-Muslim at all but when it gets to a point like this it is hard for me to believe that God is saying to do this, God would never dehumanize a woman the way they are forced to in certain parts of the world. But that is a completely different discussion lol.

  2. I just looked it up and it is mandatory for women past the age of puberty to wear a hijab in both Saudi Arabia and Iran. I actually have a best friend who is Persian and went to Tehran for the first time last summer when she was 16 and was forced to wear a hijab or she would have been jailed. Her family here in America aren’t religious so it was somewhat uncomfortable for her to have to wear clothes that totally covered her and to wear a hijab all the time. I know I have gone off quite a bit but I wanted to give you some info lol.

  3. The Saudi’s don’t have a WAG program, and I’d be shocked if they had females coaching males. That isn’t common even in the U.S.

    It’s not just the clothing, it’s the prohibition against females mixing with males to whom they are not related or married.

    A few years ago there was a gymnastics meet in Iran where the police came because women spectators for watching MAG.

  4. they usually do not allow females to go out alone, male has to be with her all the time, she can not drive and she can not touch other males (save her father, brothers, husband or anyone these males allowed her to touch). there are many, many dead babies and women, even rich ones over there each year, because the male nurse may not touch these parts of the women giving birth. a female doing gymnastics when men are present or giving directins to non-relative males? forget it. this is one of the most women hating countries in the world.

  5. I heard of it, thanks, feel sorry for women who live there, not fair. I don’t support inequality in sport or in live. I wished it would be different, sport is sport everyone who wants to participate should be allowed to do so.

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