For the 13th year in a row and under the continued patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the "Mother of the UAE”, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) is holding its WALK event to increase awareness about the crucial role of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices in preventing and controlling diabetes.
ICLDC, a Mubadala Healthcare provider, expects more than 10,000 participants to head to Yas Marina Circuit on November 15 for the event, which is also supported by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) and the Department of Community Development (DCD), as well as ICLDC’s fellow Mubadala healthcare assets such as Healthpoint and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
The event is held annually on the closest Friday to World Diabetes Day, and is part of the ICLDC’s awareness programme, Diabetes.Knowledge.Action, to tackle the high incidence of diabetes in the UAE. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, more than 15% of the UAE population aged 20-79 has diabetes.
“This year’s theme is ‘More than just a Walk’ as the walkathon not only raises awareness about diabetes and critical lifestyle choices, but it is also a very social and inclusive event, highlighting the united approach we need to fight diabetes,” explains Lawrence Patrick, ICLDC’s CEO.
“Diabetes affects everyone, from the individual and their family, to communities and the country as a whole, which is why we are collaborating with other stakeholders and why we want to attract citizens and residents of all ages and walks of life.”
Mr. Patrick also points out that walking in itself is a very inclusive form of exercise.
“It is the ideal exercise as it is inexpensive, is suitable for most levels of fitness, and helps prevent type 2 diabetes, as well as control blood sugar and prevent complications in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Alongside the 5km walk around the Yas Marina circuit, ICLDC has organised a host of entertainment and activities for the afternoon to appeal to all tastes and ages.
Entertainment includes a DJ, fitness instructors, a climbing wall, trampolines and inflatable activities, nutritional cooking displays, fitness sessions and arts and crafts for children.
H.E. Matar Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center says, “We are delighted to be collaborating with ICLDC again this year for WALK 2019. The event aligns perfectly with our vision and commitment to a healthier Abu Dhabi. We are proud to work alongside ICLDC to encourage a powerful movement promoting a sustainably healthy and engaged community. Together, we can work towards a future with fewer of the social and economic challenges posed by diabetes and other chronic conditions.”
Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Sports at the DCD adds, “WALK 2019 promotes the ideals of communal harmony and integration, and sporting events such as this one are perfect opportunities for the different segments of our society to meet and take a step forward towards a shared goal.
“The DCD works with its partners to promote improved health and wellness and build a culture of healthy lifestyle and sound values among all residents in the UAE through engagement and education. The WALK has established itself as one of the nation’s main fitness events that enjoy wide community participation, and we are confident it will continue to gain momentum in its 13th iteration.”
Participants can register for Walk 2019 at walkon.ae – entry is AED 10 for participants aged 16 and above, with no fee for those under 16. Entrants will receive a draw-string bag, t-shirt and cap. For more information please visit: http://www.walkon.ae/ or follow ICLDC social media channels: