JEDDAH: Table tennis in the Kingdom is set for a boost with the debut of the “Saudi Smash” tournament at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City from May 4 to 11.

The event, organized by World Table Tennis, the Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Table Tennis Federation, is the latest example of the Kingdom’s mission to promote active lifestyles as part of Vision 2030.

Table tennis has grown in Saudi Arabia over the past three years, fueled by investments and initiatives by the STTF and the ministry.

The number of clubs has surged by 50 percent to 181, with nearly 5,000 players registered.

Several Saudi Arabia athletes will compete including Ali Alkhadrawi, Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi and Turki Almutairi.

The tournament will have equal prize money for the men’s and women’s champions.

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 transformation plan aims to ensure 40 percent of the country’s people engage in sports.

There has been a 300 percent increase in sports participation since 2015, accompanied by a surge in females taking part.

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