Muscat: Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in step with its vision to promote Oman as a sporting nation, marked a gala event at the Grand Ballroom of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) under the auspices of Oman Air CEO Eng. Abdulaziz Al Raisi to announce 15 new beneficiaries for the 2019 edition of the Green Sports programme. The ceremony was attended by Bank Muscat CEO Sheikh Waleed K. Al Hashar, the Bank’s Management Team members as well as dignitaries from the government and private sectors.
This is the eighth year of Bank Muscat’s long-running CSR programme, which has benefitted 108 teams to date. The Green Sports programme received an excellent response this year with more than 95 sports teams applying for greening and infrastructure development of their football fields. Since its inception in 2012, the programme has gained momentum with the number of applicants increasing every year. This year too, the Bank organised field visits by a committee in the first quarter of the year, to review and short-list applications from the numerous sports teams that had applied to be part of the Green Sports programme.
Speaking on behalf of the Bank, Ahmed Omar Al Ojaily, Group Deputy General Manager – Technology, said: “Bank Muscat began the Green Sports programme in 2012 by partnering 10 teams from different regions in Oman. Buoyed by the overwhelming response and success of the pilot phase, the Bank’s Management Team decided to expand the programme by partnering 15 teams on an annual basis. Since the 2012 launch, more than 100 teams have benefitted from the Green Sports Programme and 61 sports fields have been completed until date, which indicates the tremendous success of the programme.” He added that the Bank pays special attention to all programmes focusing on developing the youth as it is the best investment in Oman’s future.
The 2019 Green Sports winners were congratulated by Eng. Abdulaziz Al Raisi at the gala event. The beneficiaries are: Al Arabi Team (Bidiyah), Ghadfan Sports Team (Liwa), Al Faw Sports Team (Suwaiq), Al Nusoor Sports Team (Manah), Al Itifaq Sports Team (Al Mudhaibi), Falaj Al Mashayekh Sports Team (Jaalan Bani Bu Hasan), Al Bareek Sports Team (Al Khaboorah), Al Muntaser Sports Team (Suwaiq), Al Rasheed Team (Samail), Al Husn Sports Team (Bahla), Sayja Sports Team (Samail), Shabab Widam Al Sahil Sports Team (Al Mussanah), Hadri Blad Sports Team (Al Kamil al Wafi), Al Nusoor Sports Team (Suwaiq) and Falaj Al Sideren Team (Yanqul).
The selection of the 2019 Green Sports winners followed extensive field visits by a committee, which reviewed and short-listed eligible sports teams meeting the criteria for greening and infrastructure development of football fields across the Sultanate. In all, 95 teams applied for the Green Sports programme in 2019. The growing response to the programme reflects the awareness among teams to be well organised in the entire application process.
The criteria for being a part of the Green Sports programme include that sports teams should have been in existence for at least three years and have a minimum of 300 members from the local community. The Bank recognises that local teams wield immense influence on neighbourhood communities, especially youth. Hence, teams with modern infrastructure facilities can help raise sporting heroes for the country.
The scope of Green Sports partnership with sports teams include greening of football fields with natural or synthetic turf, floodlights or water desalination equipment in areas facing problems of water salinity. Ensuring wider representation, the Green Sports partnership will help develop sustainable sports infrastructure across the Sultanate.
The Green Sports programme has created an ideal platform for social engagement among youth. The football fields developed as part of the Green Sports programme are now serving as a meeting place for children and youth to be engaged in social activities leading to positive character traits. The fields are also used to host various community-led activities such as Ramadhan nights, group weddings and other celebrations resulting in strong bonding of members of the local community.
The consistent progress of the Green Sports initiative confirms the Bank’s commitment to the programme aimed at providing ample opportunities for young Omanis to develop their sporting talents in an ideal environment. The programme is expected to go a long way in developing the sporting skills and talents of Omani youth, thereby promoting the game of football in Oman. As the nation’s leading financial institution, Bank Muscat aims to provide the momentum for youth to excel in all arenas and thereby contribute to the development and progress of Oman.