Muscat: Marking the second year of the unique Green Sports initiative aimed at developing a sporting nation, Bank Muscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, yesterday signed agreements with 10 sports teams/clubs across Oman to green their playing fields. The bank had also supported 10 teams to green their playgrounds in 2012 as part of the CSR programme.
Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Mardouf Al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, presided at the ceremony at the bank's head office, in the presence of dignitaries and AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive.
The new Green Sports beneficiaries who signed the agreements are Al Nasser club from the wilayat of Nizwa, Sahal Oman club (Muttrah), Al Qadra (Mudhaibi), Al Jazeera (Al Kamil W'al Wafi), Rumais (Barka), Al Watan (Shinas), Al Shabab (Baushar), Al Jazeera (Suwaiq), Al Manjarid (Jaalan Bani bu Hassan) and Al Mansoor (Al Kamil W'al Wafi).
Sheikh Saad Al Saadi commended Bank Muscat and said: "We are happy to see the encouraging results of the Green Sports initiative leading to proper sports infrastructure at the grass-root level across Oman.
Sports and games are important for youth to prove their talents and the Green Sports initiative is facilitating the development of sporting talents. The Bank Muscat initiative is a fine example for the private sector to support the government in strengthening the country's sports infrastructure.
The initiative is also contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, thereby ensuring all-round development in Oman."
The Green Sports initiative was launched in 2012 by Bank Muscat in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports Affairs to promote Oman as a sporting nation.
The bank recognises that local clubs wield immense influence on neighbourhood communities, especially youth, therefore clubs with modern infrastructure facilities can help raise sporting heroes for the country.
AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: "Bank Muscat is proud to extend Green Sports support to 10 more teams as part of its CSR strategy to further strengthen its leadership role in social responsibility and facilitate partnership between the government and the private sector for sustainable development and progress of Oman, inspired by the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to activate the role of the private sector in social responsibility and development of Omani society. Bank Muscat is committed to developing infrastructure for sports, especially football, and provide support to groom and nurture young talents in football and sports."
The Green Sports funding eligibility criteria include that sports clubs/teams should have been in existence for three years with a minimum membership of 300 youth from the local community. Bank Muscat will lay turf grass and hand over the fields to beneficiary clubs/teams.
Waleed Al Hashar, Group General Manager - Corporate Services, thanked the dignitaries for attending the ceremony and congratulated the teams and clubs selected for the Green Sports support. Al Hashar said: "The Green Sports initiative reiterates the bank's support to Oman's youth who represent the future of Oman. True to its commitment to supporting varied sporting activities in the country, Bank Muscat remains at the forefront in offering the required encouragement and support to youth. As the nation's leading financial institution, Bank Muscat aims to motivate other corporates to provide the required impetus for youth to excel in all arenas and thereby contribute the development and progress of Oman."
As part of the programme, 10 sports clubs/teams were selected to green their playgrounds in 2012. The initiative has yielded encouraging results with four of these teams receiving green fields developed by the bank.
Al Reef Team in the wilayat of Ibri was the first to receive a green playground, followed by A'dhahar Team in the wilayat of Bidiya, Bilad Seet team in the wilayat of Bahla and Al Noor team in the wilayat of Musanah.
Abdullah bin Mohammed al Hinai, President of Bilad Seet Team, made a presentation on the benefits and impact of Green Sports initiative on communities. "The private sector should follow the example of Bank Muscat in supporting sports activities in Oman. The initiative is a big support for the country's youth and we are confident that many youngsters will benefit from this programme and become sporting heroes for the country," Al Hinai added.