Soccer-Crazy Saudis Don't Mind Engaging in Other Sports

Published July 3rd, 2018 - 10:00 GMT
(Shutterstock/File Photo)
(Shutterstock/File Photo)

Saudis are generally considered soccer-crazy people and it is true, they do not mind also engaging in other sports.

One can find Saudis — men and women — participating in all kinds of sports and basketball is no exception. There is an academy in Jeddah that offers basketball training to aspiring players of both genders in a range of age groups.

Swish Basketball Academy started its operations in October 2017 with a program called MoHandles Basketball Camps, which was aimed at teaching basketball enthusiasts the basics of the game.

The founding coach of the academy, Mohanned Shobain, said due to public demand he decided to open an academy.

Shobain is a Saudi professional basketball player and he plays for the Ittihad Club. He is also a skills development coach recognized by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). He has been coaching for 10 years in different organizations, and holds a master’s degree in sports business from Cleveland State University, Ohio.

Other coaches at Swish are Racan Barnawi and Sari Abdulmehsen, who are professional players and basketball coaches recognized by FIBA. They are also strength and conditioning coaches.



Currently, more than 100 members are enrolled with the basketball academy. It aims to promote a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia, according to Shobain.

He wants to support female athletes and increase the number of female basketball players in the Kingdom.

“My goal is to increase the number of athletes in Saudi Arabia and encourage all age groups, especially children, to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. I wish to build a new generation with a better mindset and skills to be able to compete at the Olympics level,” Shobain said.

“Basketball and sports build characters and have a positive impact on people’s overall behavior.”

The academy plans to open its own state-of-the-art facilities across the Kingdom. It aspires to become one of the top sports academies not just in Saudi Arabia but also across the Middle East.

Swish’s online payment system is currently under development. Currently, customers can contact the academy through social media accounts or visit the academy currently located in Jeddah Private School’s facility to sign up.

“The process is easy: Once they make the call or visit us we give them a free pass to try out our class once or twice so as to help them make a decision.

“Usually, they practice 2-3 times a week or 8-12 sessions a month. It is a monthly program but some customers wish to sign up for 2-3 months,” Shobain said.

Interested people can visit the academy’s website or find it on Instagram @swishksa for further details.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright: Arab News © 2019 All rights reserved.

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