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West Virginia University faculty member awarded international sport research grant

A College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences faculty member and a CPASS alumna are members of an international team that received the highly competitive Prince Faisal Bin Fahad Global Award for Sports Research by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Sport and Leader’s Development Institute.

Dana Voelker, CPASS associate professor of sport, exercise, and performance psychology and Amanda Visek, associate professor at The George Washington University (WVU PhD SEP 2007), aim to advance youth sports in Saudi Arabia. The group includes Lisa Delpy Neirotti, The George Washington University, and Mohummed Alkhraji, King Saud University.

“This award represents a meaningful opportunity for global collaboration that aims to benefit children by leveraging the sport experience as a vehicle toward their longer-term health,” Voelker said. “The findings of this research will be used to inform national physical activity strategies and action plans that accelerate the speed and scale of equitably engaging Saudi Arabian children in sport.”

Selected from more than four hundred proposals spanning sixty plus countries, the institute chose seventeen projects to receive grants to execute a year-long research project focused on sports in Saudi Arabia. Recipients were selected by an independent scientific committee appointed by the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The award seeks to develop new foundational knowledge and expand upon existing information through ambitious research to promote a lasting impact on the sports dialogue in Saudi Arabia.

The sport scientist team will conduct two studies to identify the barriers and motivations of sport participation among Saudi Arabian youth, with a specific focus on understanding sex- and age-related effects across geographic regions of the Kingdom.

The Leaders Development Institute, an educational institution operating under the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Sport, announced the winners of the new edition of the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Award for Sports Research. The award is an international research grant program initially launched in 1983 by the late Prince Faisal bin Fahad Al Saud, President of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare (later the Ministry of Sport) and Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee.

The award is part of the Quality of Life Program under the larger mandate of Vision 2030 and aims to advance comprehensive academic knowledge in sports in Saudi Arabia. The winning projects are led by project teams representing forty-nine institutions and nineteen countries and include partnerships across academic, government and private institutions.

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