Five students from Abu Dhabi have won a trip to Manchester to see their footballing heroes play in the English Premier League after being named ‘Healthpoint Heroes’.
The youngsters were among more than 840 pupils from 10 schools in the capital who took part in the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ programme, organised by Manchester City FC and Healthpoint Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala’s healthcare network and MCFC’s regional healthcare partner.
Hamza Renman, from Pearl Academy, and Tomasso Furlotti, from Amity International School, will join Al Bateen Academy pupils Nanami Lida, Hibah Shafiq and Maram Chetioui on a trip to Manchester to watch a live EPL game next season.
The students were chosen after completing their ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ booklet, excelling in a series of classroom sessions and homework tasks, showing commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle outside of school and progressing in several football skills and fitness challenges set by City Football School coaches.
The winning students also impressed the programme’s organisers after writing to doctors at Healthpoint explaining the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and their commitment to being positive role models to their classmates.
“Children often surprise us with their passion, knowledge and insight and we were so impressed with the level of commitment they have demonstrated through our programme. As a leading centre for orthopaedics and sports medicine in the Middle East, our role is to encourage children to play sports and adopt healthy habits.” said Dr Mai Al Jaber, Acting Medical Director and Public Health Medicine Specialist at Healthpoint Abu Dhabi.
After being awarded the Healthpoint Heroes title, Amity International School pupil Tomasso Furlotti said: “The activities we took part in were really fun but challenged us at the same time and made us think about what improvements we could make to our lifestyles and how we can live in a healthier way. What was also really good about the session was that we got to do everything with our friends and we really encouraged each other.”
Speaking about the trip to Manchester Tomasso added: “I am really looking forward to seeing the Manchester City game and the players. I’ve never been to a game before in England or event visited England so I am really excited.
“My favourite player is John Stones, I met him when the team were here in Abu Dhabi the last time and he was really nice, I think he is a great role model.”
Held over five months, the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ initiative saw coaches from City Football Schools and physicians from Healthpoint host a series of fun, interactive sessions to teach students about the importance of keeping active, eating the right kind of food, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated.
Using the children’s favourite Manchester City FC players as inspiration, including the captains of the men’s and women’s teams, Vincent Kompany and Steph Houghton, coaches delivered 140 hours of fun and educational health and fitness sessions to 35 classes of Year 7 pupils.
The programme involved two hours of classroom-based lessons focusing on nutrition, hydration, emotional wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem and two hours of carefully organised football sessions with Manchester City FC and Healthpoint staff.
As part of their after-school activities, students were also asked to fill in a sleep and food diary, set themselves daily activity challenges, prepare healthy meals and snacks, and write a letter to their ‘future self’ pledging to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Each of the tasks were logged in the students’ ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ booklet, with the children documenting every step with photos.