Special panel to oversee implementation of Oman’s sports strategy

Establishing a government-level committee to oversee the implementation of new plans and programmes of Oman sports strategy was one of the main recommendations of the fifth edition of Oman Sports Conference held in Muscat on Thursday.

The conference, which put forward nine main recommendations, was held under the auspices of Mohammed bin Salim al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, at Sheraton Hotel.
The second session put forward four recommendations.
The first one sought short-term and long-term plans from the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC), sports associations and clubs in order to streamline their functioning.
An expert committee will help the sports bodies to prepare their plans.
The third one mentioned the role of Ministry of Sports Affairs to provide technical support to different sports authorities and follow up their plans.
The fourth recommendation of the session sought to use the latest technology tools to update the data of associations or clubs. It also discussed using new technology tools to spread and market various sports.
During the third session, the improving of the standards of youth players were in focus.

The session discussed employing the best international practices and approving one of them to build up the future path of players. All necessary facilities required for the improvement in standards should be ensured.
The youth training centres programme run by the Ministry of Sports Affairs was another topic.
The session called for suitable mechanism for talented players in cooperation with the OOC, associations and clubs in line with the youth training programme.
It also recommended for starting youth training centres programme for women.
On the national teams’ performances, the session demanded international standards on evaluating them in order to fulfil international goals. The coaches and technical teams should work as per international standards and rules.
“Since the first edition of Oman sports conference, we tried to focus on the main topics and challenges of Oman’s sports that need to be discussed clearly. The right planning is one of the main factors to reach your goals. This year the conference was based on that and came with this subject, ‘Strategic planning is the basis of good governance in the field of sport’,” Fahad al Raisi, Director-General of Sports Development and Welfare at the Ministry of Sports Affairs, said during his opening speech.
Khalid al Hachani, Adviser to Sports Minister, explained Oman’s sport strategy in the first session. He focused on implementation and areas of development. He mentioned that Ministry of Sports Affairs is the owner of the strategy and the main responsibilities are to provide all the sports infrastructure (stadiums and constructing of sports centres in wilayats that don’t have clubs), setting the rules and regulations as per international sports rules and provide funding to the sports authorities to perform their plans.
In formulating plans for sports authority’s session, Dato Windsor John from Asian Football Confederation, presented paper for management and governance of the international sports federations. He started with introduction of AFC regarding its members, statutes, legal status (Fifa and local government) and regulation rules. Then, he defined the internal and external stakeholders. He explained the committees belonging to the AFC and details of the AFC Congress.
Steven Palmer, head of systems and technology in Primer league, explained latest technologies and systems to be implemented in football development.
He explained different new technologies like Goal Line Technology, Video Assistant Referee, Assisting correct decision making and Maintaining the flow of the game.
Player Tracking is another new system for football that has been explained in the session. This system includes reducing injury, analysing performance and assist recruitment.
Alan Pearson, CEO of SAQ International LTD, led talk on ‘Elite athlete development, the first 20 years’ and the standards of building sports for top level. He explained that the role of academy is to introduce and implement performance programmes that improve the physical and athletic ability of the young athlete, the focus should not be on the individual specialised sport alone.
During the last session, athlete Mohammed al Suliemani, karting star Shihab al Habsi, para athletics sprinter Mohammed al Mashaykhi shared their experiences in their respective fields in an open discussion. They outlined their beginning and main achievements during their career.

Nine recommendations from the conference

1. – Committee to review implementation of programmes for Oman’s sports strategy
2. – OOC, sports associations and clubs told to set short-term and long-term plans
3. – Expert committee to support sports authorities to prepare plans
4. – Sports Ministry to provide technical support to sports authorities
5. – New technology tools to be used to market various sports
6. – Employing best international practices to improve the standard of youth players
7. – Mechanism to support talented athletes in the youth training programme
8. – Establish new youth training centres programme for women
9. – Evaluation of national teams’ performances in international standards