Abu Dhabi, UAE: Hundreds of pupils turned up at the first day of an event to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Abu Dhabi Alive at Zayed Sports City aims to give children and adults a fun day out paired with an educational experience.
The organisers expect at least 20,000 people to attend the event before it ends on Saturday.
On Thursday, pupils from 26 schools, including 20 from Abu Dhabi, came along to experience the range of activities, which included fitness classes, health check-ups, sports events and healthy eating workshops.
“We want to give people the chance to get a taste of a variety of activities so they can choose the one they prefer. Some people prefer team activities while others like exercising by themselves. There is something for everyone from four year olds to adults,” said Hayete Jemai, exhibition director.
“Abu Dhabi Alive was launched only last year and we had 12,000 visitors. This year, 20,000 people have already pre-registered.”
Activities included games of football, rope swings, bowling, zumba, yoga and trampolines.
The event is run in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, while The National is the official media partner.
Among the sponsors is the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Mariam Al Zaabi, marketing officer for the federation, said: “Many schools have included jiu-jitsu in their programmes and people are aware of this combat sport in UAE. We have got many visitors and the stand is popular.”
Jasmine Brescak, a teacher at the Dubai branch of the Sharjah American International School, took pupils from Grade Seven to the event.
“This is the first time we have brought them and the children were very excited about coming here,” she said, although she added that some of the queues for activities were quite long.
Jaemie McCluskey, who teaches physical education at the Canadian International School in Abu Dhabi, said: “The mix of activities and variety at the event are excellent. I am very impressed. There are some things people can do in teams and others that they can enjoy by themselves.”
Isra Mohammad, a teacher at Al Nashaa Al Saleh School in Al Ain, said: “My experience at Zayed Sports City has been great. When I asked my students which activities they preferred, the trampoline and wall climbing topped the list. These events are really important as they help shape children’s personalities.
“I tell my students that I will help them have the perfect body and so they are enthusiastic about sports.”
© The NationalNov 2014