Fitness Time chosen as official partner of Barcelona in KSA, UAE

Fitness Time chosen as official partner of Barcelona in KSA, UAE
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Published May 24th, 2015 - 14:02 GMT via

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Picture courtesy of Yahoo! Maktoob News
Picture courtesy of Yahoo! Maktoob News

Fitness Time has been chosen as the official partner of FC Barcelona in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Under the partnership agreement reached between the two sides, Barcelona will establish seven football academies for the Fitness Time in the Kingdom.

Fitness Time has become the 15th partner of Barcelona Soccer Academy (BSA) worldwide. Leejam Sports Company is the owner of Fitness Time, the Kingdom’s largest network of sports and fitness centers. 

Javier Faus, vice president of FC Barcelona, said that Barcelona picked Fitness Time as its official partner in the Kingdom and UAE after carrying out extensive studies about various aspects.

"Under the partnership agreement, Barcelona will establish seven academies in the Kingdom, of which three will be in Riyadh and two each in the eastern and western regions."

He made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference held recently at Burj Rafal Kempinski Hotel, Riyadh. It was also attended by senior executives of Leejam Sports Company and Barcelona, and they included Abdul Mohsen Al-Haqbani, chairman of the board and managing director of Leejam, Fahad Al-Haqbani, chief operating officer of Leejam, and Lauren Colette, director general marketing, Barcelona.

Faus said Barcelona will make available of highly qualified trainers to the academies. "I don’t expect that these academies will produce a new Messi but our focus will be on strengthening the passion for the game and improve the talent of the trainees," he said. Faus also ruled out rumors of Messi leaving Barcelona.

Abdul Mohsen Al-Haqbani expressed happiness over the prospect of having the tie-up with the world’s leading soccer club. "They considered our professionalism and popularity in the Middle East, especially in the Kingdom.

This partnership is also part of our social responsibility of facilitating special academies for children between the ages of 4 and 15," he said adding that the academy is aimed at instilling in trainees spirit of sports and fair play.

"We also see that practicing sports also enable children to develop a healthy and sound life style as it is the basic mission of Fitness Time to the society," he said.

Al-Haqbani said there have been no specialized football academies under most of the major football clubs in the Kingdom. "We embarked on a whirlwind tour around the world over a period of seven months to find out the best professional soccer clubs running specialized academies. We came to the conclusion that BSA is the best in the world," he said.

Fahad Al-Haqbani said that Fitness Time’s partnership with Barcelona shows its pioneering position in the Middle East. He added that as per the partnership agreement, 30 children will be sent to BSA in Barcelona for a period of four years.

Leejam, which has branches in more than a dozen cities across the Kingdom, aims to steer society toward a healthy lifestyle, and encourage people to exercise daily, with its unique vision to "to be the best, biggest, nearest and most advanced sport center chain in the Middle East and North Africa region.

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