Manchester City FC are taking strides to educate youngsters in Abu Dhabi about the importance of staying active and eating well in a new programme named ‘Healthy Lifestyle’.
Healthpoint – Manchester City FC’s regional healthcare partner – will visit 15 schools throughout Abu Dhabi as part of the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ programme, meeting around 1,000 young people over the next five months.
Specially trained coaches from City Football Schools and Healthpoint physicians will give fun and interactive lessons on regular exercise, making the right food choices, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated.
The initiative is designed to provide students with the right information to improve their diet and fitness habits at home and school. City Football Schools coaches will work alongside teachers to lead a series of fun, creative and educational classes and football-based activities.
With adult and childhood obesity recognized as a major problem worldwide, the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ programme is aligned with government initiatives to improve people’s health.
The programme is supported by the captains of Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams – Vincent Kompany and Steph Houghton – in a move which is hoped to encourage young people to take more of an interest in their diets and exercise habits.
“It’s very important as a footballer to eat healthily and fuel the body for every game,” said Vincent Kompany, MCFC defender and Club Captain. “Living an active lifestyle, along with eating well, prepares your body both physically and mentally.
“Regular physical activity is an important part of the equation for getting healthy and then staying healthy. Fuelling yourself on the right foods is the second part of that equation.”
Steph Houghton, defender and Club Captain of the MCFC women’s team, said: “Living an active life and staying fit and healthy are key to ensuring my performance stays at a high level. I always look after myself, including my mental well-being and ensure I sleep well every night.”
Dr Mai Ahmed Al Jaber, Acting Medical Director and Head of Public Health at Healthpoint, said: “Having MCFC’s stars on board with the health and fitness initiative is extremely important.
“What makes this programme unique and fun to children is that the footballers from Manchester City Football Club share their personal experiences and their daily lifestyle. We hope that children are motivated by following one of their football stars.
“The programme has different aspects – diet, exercise, sleep and mental well-being. By having a focus on each of those and delivering information in a way that children can absorb easily it can help to address childhood obesity.”
As well as taking part in fun and engaging activities, an official ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ booklet will encourage students to keep a sleep and food diary, set challenges to help them be more active, give tips on preparing healthy meals and snacks, and even ask them to write a letter to their ‘future self’ with a pledge to lead a healthier lifestyle.
If you would like to find out more information about City Football Schools or ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ booklet please email CFS.AbuDhabi@cityfootball.com