Students making ‘visible’ changes after fitness challenge

[Kids enjoy playing the tug of war on the last day of the Dubai Fitness Challenge at Festival City in Dubai on November 18, 2017. – KT photo by Dhes Handumon]

A “visible” and “positive” change is being seen among school students after the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

If you ask who stole the show at the month-long Dubai Fitness Challenge which ended on Saturday, no doubt, they are children.

A top official at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said a “visible” and “positive” change among the students prove youngsters were the “heart of the Dubai Fitness Challenge”. Chaltham Al Balooshi, the director of institutional development at the KHDA, told Khaleej Times during the closing ceremony of the challenge that teachers have reported that most of their students are “learning better” after getting their daily dose of exercise.

Al Balooshi added that all schools and universities in Dubai registered for the challenge. There were several activities that were organised for the young ones throughout the month, during the weekend carnivals and by schools. Some schools kicked off their day with 30 minutes of dancing or walking, such as the Indian High School and the GEMS Royal School.

“The youth is getting more engaged in their learning and they’re very ready for learning after their 30 minute of exercises and their teachers are noticing that. So, youth were definitely the heart of this challenge,” Al Balooshi said.

“What we and the schools have learned is that there is a huge positive impact with getting kids involved in these kinds of challenges and activities. I think we are looking forward to making this as a lifestyle for them. It’s something that you should do daily, whether there is a challenge or there isn’t.

“We want schools adopting it and students implementing it in their daily lives. Because of the challenge, it didn’t only involve students, but the wider education community, meaning teacher, parents and principals. So, there is a connection that brought everyone together through sports.”

Meanwhile, Dr Abdullah Al Karam, the director-general of KHDA visited more than 20 schools that organised different kinds of sports and activities, including kabadi, kho-kho, parkour challenges, cycling, football, obstacle courses, badminton and tug-of-war to name a few.

Students received plenty of activities during school hours and during the weekends, thanks to carnivals organised by the Dubai Fitness Challenge team.

There carnivals took place every weekend in different locations, including Safa Park, Burj Park, Skydive Dubai and the closing ceremony was at the Dubai Festival City. All of these events had a range of activities for kids, including cycling, football and basketball. Parents had told Khaleej Times during the opening weekend of the challenge that they were “glad” their kids ditched their electronics for some outdoor activities.

Source: Khaleej Times