Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- A number of Saudis have expressed hope physical education will be incorporate to the educational curriculum for girls across the Kingdom, respecting local traditions and Islam. They believe physical education will solve a number of physical ailments and encourage girls to become successful.
Ihsan al Tayyib, social affairs director in Mecca, told Asharq al Awsat he hoped sports centers for women would be created, under government supervision, enabling women to practice several sports, benefiting their physical and mental health. No plans were currently afoot, he added.
For her part, Dr. Fawziya Ashmak head of the consultative council for development blamed the non-participation of girls and women in sports to a misconception whereby physical exercise is feared to harm them. She indicated that a study which examined the physical condition of girls and women who practiced gymnastics and track and field reported no adverse effects. On the contrary, the 100 women sampled were shown to be in better health and less likely to undergo a cesarean. Dr. Fawziya said it was vital to change these erroneous beliefs prevalent in society and called on the authorities to establish sports centers for girls.
Meanwhile, Moha al Sayed, a physical education instructor, revealed that more girls are practicing sports with the encouragement of their parents who have been closely following their progress. Al Sayed revealed that the school where she teaches holds a yearly competition and distributed medals to the winners to encourage girls and reward them.