Thousands step out for Walk 2016

ABU DHABI, 11th November, 2016 (WAM) — The 10th annual walkathon, Walk 2016, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, hosted at Yas Marina on Friday by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and supported by the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, HAAD, is celebrating its 10th year with a day of family fun under the banner, #WalkOn.

Last year, the event attracted more than 21,000 participants, and is set to be even bigger this year. The day features a number of exciting events, competitions, celebrity participants and entertainers from across the capital’s communities, including music, jugglers and yoga instructors helping to kick things off at the beginning of the 5.5km Yas Marina circuit course.

Lots more activities will follow the Walk, from bouncy castles, badminton and football games to stage entertainment with a DJ. Prizes up for grabs include ‘fitbits’ and the latest sportswear.

Imperial College London Diabetes Centre is the region’s leading centre for the prevention of diabetes, and its treatment, research and education. This year, the centre is marking a decade of tackling diabetes within the local community. Walk 2016 will also be supported by Mubadala’s Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the centre’s public health campaign ‘Diabetes.Knowledge.Action’ has the aim of bringing people together and spreading the word on how a simple exercise, such as walking, can form part of a healthy, active lifestyle which, when combined with a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy body weight, can help prevent, manage and even reverse diabetes.

Speaking on the campaign, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of HAAD, said, “Prevention is always better than cure. The Walk has grown in popularity over the past decade with notably more members of the community, young and old, taking part in this memorable occasion.”

Suhail Mahmood Al Ansari, Executive Director of Mubadala Healthcare and Chairman of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, added, “We are founded on being a community resource and making an impact in the country we serve in a holistic way that looks at all aspects of diabetes and healthcare. The Walk is a key embodiment of everything we stand for. Exercising is crucial to everybody, living with or without diabetes, and as little as 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity, such as walking, at least five times a week will keep your health in check, as well as reducing the risk of diabetes-related conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. The Walk is an important way of addressing some of the root causes in an upbeat, engaging way.’