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Big response as BankMuscat to receive Green Sports applications from today

MUSCAT, 19 May 2012 – The Green Sports initiative launched by BankMuscat has evoked big response as the Bank will start receiving applications from today (Sunday 20 May) to green the playing fields of registered sports clubs/ teams. The Green Sports application forms can be obtained from the offices of Regional Managers or downloaded from the BankMuscat website. The Bank will accept the applications for two weeks.    

The funding for greening the playing fields will be extended to eligible sports clubs across the Sultanate. A total of 10 clubs/teams will benefit from this programme every year. The funding eligibility criteria include that sports clubs/teams should have been in existence for a minimum of three years. They must furnish proof of legal ownership of the land and provide income statements for the team and activities for 2011.

The club membership must be a minimum of 300 youth from the local community and the clubs must be involved in a variety of sports activities. They must furnish proof of their achievements over the past 5 years and demonstrate the positive effect of the team on local community through regular events and community work.

The clubs should be capable of financially maintaining and operating the green playing fields for a period of five years. They must also possess equipment to maintain the green fields.

BankMuscat will lay grass and plant trees and hand over the fields to beneficiary clubs/teams. The Bank will also specify approved vendors to implement the greening project.

If more than one sports club/team from the same region meets the eligibility criteria, the Bank will consider the following standards to choose the beneficiary from that region - the number of members, location of the field, number of years in existence, financial capability to maintain and operate the green playing field for a period of five years.

Sheikh Badr Rawas, President of Dhofar Club, said: “The Green Sports initiative by BankMuscat is highly commendable as it helps lay the foundation at the grass-root level for sports infrastructure across Oman. The initiative will go a long way in building a sporting nation by providing the youth the required infrastructure facilities. The initiative also contributes to sustainable development and protection of the environment, thereby ensuring all-round development in Oman.”

Ali Al Ghadani, President of Suwaiq Team, said:  “We are thankful to BankMuscat for launching the Green Sports initiative, which will significantly raise the sporting infrastructure standards in Oman and help nurture a generation of sporting heroes. The initiative will encourage healthy living, which will have wider impact on the nation.” 

Essam Al Sharji, CSR Manager, said: “The Green Sports initiative was launched by BankMuscat as part of policies aimed at contributing to sustainable development and benefiting communities across Oman, especially youth, to develop a sporting nation. The initiative reiterates the Bank’s support to Oman’s youth who represent the future of Oman. True to its commitment to supporting varied sporting activities in the country, BankMuscat remains at the forefront in offering the required encouragement and support to youth. As the nation’s leading financial institution, BankMuscat aims to motivate other corporates to provide the required impetus for youth to excel in all arenas and thereby contribute the development and progress of Oman.”

The 5-year Green Sports programme will identify clubs/teams spread across Oman to green their fields. BankMuscat recognises that local clubs wield immense influence on neighbourhood communities, especially youth, hence clubs with modern infrastructure facilities can help raise sporting heroes for the country.

The Green Sports initiative is in line with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which has included Green Sports in its current 10-year program. Sporting activities involving environmental commitment are now playing an increasingly important role at the global level in focusing recognition on protecting our planet.

Essam Al Sharji added: “Further strengthening the leadership role in social responsibility, the Green Sports initiative allows BankMuscat to closely align itself with the global UNEP programme. The Bank will primarily develop green playing fields across Oman and launch many community projects targeting the youth, representing 70 per cent of the Sultanate’s population. Many CSR projects by BankMuscat will be clustered around sports, an essential activity for everyone’s well-being, especially youth. These sports activities will take place in green fields developed by the Bank.”

BankMuscat is a strong supporter of sporting activities, especially football, and was the first private sector institution to announce support to both the Oman national teams playing in the Asian qualifier for 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil and 2012 Olympics in London.

Early this year, BankMuscat launched an innovative CSR initiative involving the 3000-strong employees. The new CSR strategy is the first of its kind in Oman and the region to engage all staff in making a big difference in giving back to society. As the leading bank in the Sultanate, BankMuscat is at the forefront to contribute to society and thereby set a fine example for the banking sector to develop social work as corporate culture.

BankMuscat is the first Omani bank to establish a full-fledged CSR department. Considered among core values, the CSR policy stems from the Bank’s strong belief in the importance of social responsibility. It reflects the Bank’s concern and care for various segments of society. The Bank is of the view that its social responsibility is not merely participation in charitable works and organisation of voluntary campaigns, but responsibility towards all-round development of society.

BankMuscat focuses on all types of projects that fall within the framework of social responsibility. The prime consideration includes the benefit reaching the largest number of individuals; the youth and job-seekers and provision of opportunities for the development of skills/human capital. Efforts are also targeted at individuals with special needs to enhance their capabilities with the aim of integrating them into mainstream society.