Ahead of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International this week, Ladies European Tour CEO Alex Armas is confident the upcoming tournaments in Saudi will keep momentum growing for women’s sport.
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International made history last year as the first professional women’s sports event to be staged in Saudi Arabia. It marked the return of the LET season post-pandemic and coincided with the launch of the Ladies First Club powered by Aramco; an initiative that saw 1,200 women and girls register to learn the game over the tournament’s four days.
A huge feat considering that females exercising outdoors was unimaginable just a few years ago.
Speaking ahead of this year’s tournament, Armas commented, “the reaction we got last year blew everyone’s mind.”
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund returns to Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City from 4 – 7 November. Armas is confident it will help to keep momentum growing for women’s sport in the country.
“We didn’t think we were going to get the interest we did. It just made sense to come back to do it again and to keep building on that and I think that is what we will be doing going forward. Golf Saudi has big plans for the women’s game. Although we’re only at the beginning, it’s been a fast trajectory.”
A spotlight on the challenges facing women's golf
The Aramco Team Series – Jeddah follows the week after from 10 – 12 November for a double-header of LET sanctioned events alongside Golf Saudi.
The success of the Aramco Team Series, which has taken place in London, Spain and the USA, has put a spotlight on the challenges of international women’s sport and addressing gender equality in golf.
“There is a challenge of women’s sport,” continued Armas. “We don’t get the coverage of the men but there is a shift in that, and the equality movement and the corporate companies are realizing there is an imbalance. We need to showcase them and their stories and incredible journeys. We still have a long way to go. People don’t realize what good athletes these women are and if they don’t get to see that they don’t understand that. They can compete. They are as good athletes as the men.”
Armas also referenced the importance of elite women’s sport being visible to inspire active participation in markets like Saudi Arabia: “I think it’s hugely important because across the globe, we need to get the population more active and involved in sports.
“I think the best way to do that is obviously through live sports on TV and for people to be able to become inspired by these athletes and look up to them as role models. Having so many sporting events of the quality that Saudi is bringing to the Kingdom will be hugely important to growing participation in various sports. The amount of people that signed up for the Ladies First Club and the amount of positive feedback was immense”.
Tickets for both tournaments at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City are available now, free of charge.
For more information, visit aramcoteamseries.com