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SAOC begins program for London Games
By Shahid Ali Khan Saudi Gazette
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 06 - 2009

The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) launched its “Olympic Falcon Program – London 2012” here on Sunday.
“We want to increase the awareness of our athletes across a broad range of sports and bring these sports closer to the youth of Saudi Arabia,” Prince Sultan Bin Fahd, President of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare and President of SAOC, said while launching the program.
The launch was also attended by Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal, Vice President of Youth Welfare and Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as prominent officials from the GPYW companies and organizations.
Saudi athletes, representing different events such as rapier, boxing, judo, football, track events and basketball (for special athletes), gave presentation of their respective sports during the ceremony.
“This landmark launch will revolutionize Saudi Arabia's approach to the Olympic Games,” said Prince Sultan Bin Fahd.
Prince Nawaf stressed that the announcement focused on two programs for the future. “We want to first focus on training and the subsequent qualification of our athletes for London 2012 and then take that a stage further with a view to achieving medal success in three years time.”
He said the SAOC has appointed experts in various fields.
Neil Perkins, Media Coordinator, SAOC said: “The SAOC has realized that to win medals at the modern day Olympics the participating players have to be trained, focused and physically fit.” It is a step in the right direction, he added.
Generous remunerations will also be awarded to members of the delegation, as well as the technical and administration support staff of the winning athletes and teams.
The SAOC is also in the process of revamping and relaunching its website which will go live soon after the Riyadh launch and will be continually updated with breaking news and events during the build-up to London 2012.
Preparations for London 2012 have already started, but the emphasis will be placed on ensuring that Saudi Arabia's sporting representatives are well-prepared and focused for qualifying events and major sporting meetings such as the 16th Asian Games Guangzhou 2010, Muscat 2010 2nd Asian Beach Games, the 3rd Asian Indoor Games Hanoi, Vietnam 2009 and the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Roush achieved considerable success in his role as Chief of Sports Performance at the US Olympic Committee and joins the SAOC to nurture and develop the Kingdom's athletes from the various sporting federations.
Salzburg-based advertising agency Adhurricane has, meanwhile, been appointed to handle pre-Games marketing and sponsorship agreements and will work closely with the SAOC in the build-up to London 2012.
The company is planning to launch an exclusive new video channel with regular updates of athletes' progress in their detailed preparations for London 2012 and is discussing plans for an exclusive web page for SAOC news on the sports pages of two leading Saudi Arabian newspapers.
Plans are also afoot to launch a sports-orientated ‘Olympic Talk Show' following a proposed exclusive tie-in with a satellite television network. These programs will feature past and present Olympic greats, members of Saudi Arabia's sporting communities and potential stars of the future.
A ‘Fan Reporter Contest' will also be launched in association with a leading local Arabic and English newspapers to encourage up and coming sports writers to air their views on sporting topics. The winner will be chosen by a prominent panel of judges and invited to attend the Games as part of the official Saudi Arabian media delegation. He or she will be offered a position within a publishing house, be sent to attend the Games and also be encouraged to submit regular news reports and stories from the heat of the action when the 30th Olympic Games get underway in London on July 27th 2012.
The agency is also working on exciting plans for the Saudi Olympic Falcon Simulator Roadshow. The state-of-the-art facility will be launched later in the year and will carry out a nationwide tour of cities and major sporting facilities. __

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