Dubai wins prestigious international award for national project on physical activity

August 6, 2014 4:04 pm

The Dubai Sports Council (DSC) has added a new feather to its cap by winning the prestigious Agita Mundo Award 2014 in the category of the National Projects in Physical Activities at the Fifth International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The annual event is organised by Agita Mundo, the Global Physical Activity Promotion Network, in cooperation with the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) aims to promote physical activity as a healthy behaviour for people of all ages, nations, and characteristics.

The announcement came at a press conference held at the Dubai Press Club (DPC), where Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif, Secretary General of DSC said: “Dubai is a city that doesn’t rest on its laurels. This new recognition adds to the emirate’s ongoing efforts to promote physical activity and healthy behaviour in society.” “We pride ourselves with this international recognition that highlights our success in this area. Dubai Pulse – among other activities launched in different parts of Dubai as part of the World Day for Physical Activity – took centre stage at the 5th ICPAPH in Brazil,” he added.

“Prior to the launch of Dubai Pulse, statistics show that 34.6% of Dubai residents regularly engaged in sporting activities. We were able to increase the number to 41.9% last year by launching many programmes in partnership with local institutions to raise the proportion of practitioners of physical activity,” Al Sharif said. “Our target is to have 45% of Dubai’s residents embracing an active lifestyle by 2015,” he concluded.

According to Ali Omar, Director of the DSC’s Sports Development Department, the Dubai Pulse programme includes several main activities such as Dubai Swims, Dubai Walks, Dubai Cycles in addition to other outdoor accompanying programmes that include several physical activities such as biking & athletic games along with indoor accompanying programmes which will take place at shopping malls.

In 2012, the International Society for Physical Activity and Health and Agita Mundo presented Dubai with a certificate of appreciation for its leading role in promoting physical activity and encouraging people to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. The Dubai Sports Council leads the efforts of Dubai to integrate physical activity and sports in the residents’ way of life through the initiation of community-based workshops, events and building sports facilities and preparing public areas such as beaches and parks for sporting activities.

The new recognition granted to Dubai by the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) and Agita Mundo, the Global Physical Activity Promotion Network, represents the international appreciation for the emirate’s effort to promote physical activity as a healthy behavior which positively impact the health and productivity of the community and, on the other hand, reduces medical expenses.

Many international organisations have awarded Dubai for its outstanding efforts in supporting sports and promoting physical activities. In 2012, Dubai was named best sports city in the Middle East and Africa by SportBusiness Group’s Ultimate Sports Cities Awards. In 2013, Dubai clinched the Silver Award of the International Sports Event Management (ISEM) Awards for Sport City category during a special ceremony in London.

Additionally, Dubai had been recognised by international sports federations and specialised sports organisations following its success in hosting international sports competitions including the 2010 FINA World Swimming Championships, 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, FINA Swimming World Cup, FAI World Parachuting Championships MONDIAL 2012 Dubai in addition to major tennis, golf and rugby tournaments.

Agita Mundo is an international organisation established in Brazil and currently located in Switzerland. The purpose of the Agita Mundo, the Global Physical Activity Promotion Network, is to promote physical activity as a healthy behavior for people of all around the world. The Agita Mundo Network stimulates research, encourage the dissemination of information on the health benefits of physical activity and effective strategies to increase physical activity, advocate for physical activity and health, and support the development of national and local programs and networks for physical activity promotion.

Agita Mundo advocates physical activity and health through an annual Move for Health Day, other community based and community wide events, and informing policy makers of the importance of physical activity to public policy. The global organisation disseminate a clear, simple and consistently delivered message on the health and social benefits of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Agita Mundo works in collaboration with many international organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), International Sports for All Federation (FIST), the Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) and Center of Studies of the Physical Fitness Research Laboratory in São Paulo (CELAFISCS).