Muscat – Close to 20 per cent of Oman’s population is in the 18-29 age group and it is the right time to nurture talent to produce promising sportsmen to compete internationally. The sultanate’s young sportsmen say there is need to identify, train and develop youth to excel in sports in the coming years.
Khalid Said al Anqudi
Omani youth have achieved global recognition in a variety of sports, including football, motor racing, hiking and mountaineering. If we need to make a difference in the next few decades in Oman’s participation in global sports, we need to set up an academy that will discover and nurture new talent in all sports. The developed world has many academies to spot talent at a young age and nurture them scientifically to excel in their chosen sports. We need learn from these, besides bringing experts and coaches to develop our youth and prepare them to win laurels at national, regional and international levels.
Emad al Hosni
Former national football team player
We need to discover young football talents, nurture them and provide them with the necessary support. We also need to introduce modern technologies to the football field to improve performance of players and referees. If the game has to assume greater proportions in Oman in the years ahead, we have to start right now and provide all that is needed to promote it. Elaborate plans have to be supplemented with necessary infrastructure, like grounds for practice, sponsorship to take care of logistics as well as participation in more tournaments nationally and regionally. Football is dear to everyone in Oman, but we are not doing enough to spot new talent and develop it. I hope in 50 years, some of the top footballers internationally will be Omanis.
Anas al Raqadi
I hope to support Omani youth and urge them to take up water sports – such as diving – and preserve and develop Oman’s legendary traditions in the field of sailing. The need of the hour is to organise several initiatives, competitions and festivals to develop and spread the culture of water sports among members of society. Currently, facilities for water sports are very limited in Oman, and so is the interest level. Unless we promote water sports in a big way and provide infrastructure for it, we cannot expect great results. We need to study what is done in other countries and bring home great ideas as well formulate plans to implement them in Oman with greater enthusiasm.
Turki al Junaibi
I thank the government for its interest in Omani youth. I would like to see centres to train and develop youth in sports and art. This will help discover new talents and help raise the name of Oman in international forums. As of now, Omani youth have been showing keen interest in a variety of sports but not all are able to go ahead with fulfilling careers in sports because there is a lack of support for promising sportsperson. In the next 50 years, we need to create ample opportunities for all those interested in sports to go ahead with their dreams by providing them support in many diverse ways.
Sportsmen in other countries are backed by sponsors as well as provided facilities to train. We need to do the same in a big way, if we want to see Oman shine in different sports.
Salim Juma al Hosni
Founder, Divers of Oman Team and Al Khabourah Diving Team
Oman needs more focus in the field of sports to attract foreign investments and promote tourism and economic development. Sports has become an industry that needs to combine both government and private sector efforts to achieve more at the global level. I wish the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth makes plans to establish sports academies to discover and support Omani talents. I also hope that the government promotes water sports, like diving, and provides information by creating an app on all diving sites in Oman to help popularise this sport. It will also attract tourists from different countries of the world.