MUSCAT, 06 November 2013 – The Green Sports initiative launched by Bank Muscat to develop a sporting nation is making significant progress as the third lush green playground developed as part of the unique CSR programme was handed over to Bilad Seet Team in the wilayat of Bahla in Dakhiliyah region. H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Zaher Al Hinai, State Adviser, presided as guest of honour at the ceremony attended by a large turnout of dignitaries, including H.E. Dr Abdullah bin Nasser al Harrasi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television, prominent citizens and senior bank officials led by Waleed Al Hashar, Group General Manager – Corporate Services.
The programme on the occasion included a friendly football match, which was tinged with an unfortunate incident, as Ali Al Hinai, a senior player of Bilad Seet team, fell ill while playing and was taken to hospital, where he breathed his last.
Waleed Al Hashar said: “Bank Muscat expresses deep sorrow to the family, officials and team members of Bilad Seet team on the sad demise of Ali Al Hinai. We are encouraged to see the motivation and determination of local clubs and teams to green their playgrounds across the Sultanate as part of the Green Sports initiative. The inauguration of the third green playground in Bahla endorses the bank's commitment to support the youth representing the country's future. We thank H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Zaher Al Hinai and H.E. Dr Abdullah bin Nasser al Harrasi for gracing the occasion. We congratulate Bilad Seet Team for seizing the opportunity to green their playing field, thereby setting a fine example for other clubs and teams in Oman."
Waleed Al Hashar added: “The Green Sports initiative launched by the bank as part of its CSR strategy is aimed at further strengthening its leadership role in social responsibility and facilitate partnership between the government and the private sector for sustainable development and progress of Oman, inspired by the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to activate the role of the private sector in social responsibility and development of Omani society."
H.E. Shaikh Zahran bin Abdullah al Hinai, Majlis Ash'shura member from the wilayat of Bahla, congratulated Bank Muscat for the Green Sports initiative aimed at motivating and supporting the country's youth in building a sporting nation. H.E. Al Hinai said: “The Bank Muscat initiative is a fine example for the private sector to support the government in strengthening the country's sports infrastructure."
The Green Sports initiative was launched by the bank in 2012 to lay the foundation at the grass-root level for a sustainable sports infrastructure. As part of the
programme, 10 sports clubs were given support to green their playing fields in 2012. The bank is set to announce 10 more new beneficiary clubs and teams for the greening programme in 2013.
Yousuf al Rawahi, Senior Regional Manager - Dakhiliyah, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to hand over the third green playing field to Bilad Seet Team. The new facility marks a milestone for sports development in the region. The bank will support all deserving clubs across the Sultanate to green their playing fields. To achieve the goals of the initiative, the project will continue and the bank will provide a fair chance to all teams and clubs in the coming years. The initiative is a strategic decision by the bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports Affairs to promote Oman as a sporting nation."
The initiative has yielded encouraging results. Al Reef Team in the wilayat of Ibri was the first to receive a green playground developed by the bank, followed by A'dhahar Team in the wilayat of Bidiya.
The bank recognises that local clubs wield immense influence on neighbourhood communities, especially youth, therefore clubs with modern infrastructure facilities can help raise sporting heroes for the country. The initiative reiterates the bank's support to Oman's youth who represent the future of Oman, besides contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, thereby ensuring all-round development in Oman.
The initiative is in line with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which has included Green Sports in its current 10-year program: Resolution 2997 XXVII. Sporting activities involving environmental commitment are now playing an increasingly important role at the global level in focusing recognition on protecting our planet.
The Green Sports initiative allows Bank Muscat to closely align itself with the global UNEP programme. The bank will primarily develop green playing fields across Oman and launch community projects targeting the youth, who represents over 50 per cent of the Sultanate's population. Many CSR projects by Bank Muscat will be clustered around sports, an essential activity for everyone's well-being. These sports activities will take place in green fields developed by the bank.
The funding eligibility criteria for the programme include that sports clubs/teams should have been in existence for three years with a minimum membership of 300 youth from the local community. Bank Muscat will lay turf grass and plant trees and hand over the fields to beneficiary clubs/teams.
Hamad bin Hamoud al Aufi, President of Bahla Club, appreciated Bank Muscat, stressing that this initiative will contribute to the creation of an environment encouraging Omani sports talents. Al Aufi said: “The initiative is a big support for the country's youth and we are confident that many youngsters will benefit from this programme and become sporting heroes for the country."
Abdullah bin Mohammed al Hinai, President of Bilad Seet Team, said: “The private sector should follow the example of Bank Muscat in supporting sports activities in Oman. We are delighted that Bilad Seet Team has become a role model for other clubs and teams in Oman."
Samir bin Haji al Hinai, Coach of Bilad Seet Team, appreciated the role played by Bank Muscat in supporting various sports activities in the Sultanate. He congratulated Bilad Seet Team for raising the standard of their playing field with the Green Sports support."
True to its commitment to supporting varied sporting activities in the country, Bank Muscat remains at the forefront in offering the required encouragement and support to youth. As the nation's leading financial institution, Bank Muscat aims to provide the impetus for youth to excel in all arenas and thereby contribute to the development and progress of Oman.