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An active and enjoyable family event to fight childhood obesity!

DUBAI – Stimulating the physical and mental competency of children and families through fun active games to initiate a healthy lifestyle, is the aim of the “Fun of the Town” event that is taking place under the umbrella of The Fat Truth campaign, launched last April under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.

The event that started on Thursday, May 28, 2009, is organized by The Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with In Motion Fitness Club and UP-TOWN Mirdif. It aims to stop children and families from leading a passive lifestyle and encourages active behavior to fight childhood obesity across the United Arab Emirates.

”Physical activity promotes psychological well-being and has a significant impact on children’s performance in schools” said Mayada Wahsh, Programme officer, UNICEF Gulf Area.

“Identifying the right and enjoyable tools to engage children into an active lifestyle is crucial to initiate a sustainable behavior change to help children avoid or overcome overweight and obesity” she added.

According to Action for Healthy Kids (2003) Nearly 200 studies on the effect of exercise on cognitive functioning suggest that physical activity supports learning. Children with daily physical education exhibit better attendance, a more positive attitude to school and superior academic performance. (NASPE/Council of PE for Children. Physical education is critical to a complete education, 2001)

’In Motion club offers unique fitness solutions that combine entertainment and exercise. Through our participation in The Fat Truth campaign, we aim to promote positive energy in children and reduce inactivity, thus fighting childhood obesity and lifestyle related illnesses.’ said Osama Al Othman, Founder of In Motion.

Through their cooperation with In Motion, the first exergames fitness club in the Middle East, the organizers work on combining entertainment and exercise to develop ’smart brains and dynamic bodies’ through unique fitness solutions. The objective of Fun of the Town is to promote wellness and good health through creative ideas and exercises.

During the event children, youths and families can compete and enjoy the following games:Makoto Sport Arena that requires participants to use their hands and feet to respond to the audio and visual displays on the triangular shaped equipment while reaction time and accuracy are measured electronically.

The iDance Wireless Multiplayer DDR System: a wireless dance platform, where dance movements are controlled on a plasma screen and the player must follow the arrows on the screen.

T-Wall: The Touch Wall has numerous touch surfaces, red signals light up in a sequence of varying positions and speed. The player has to deactivate the lights as soon as it appears by quick touch.

Alpha Numbers Mat: This is a mat placed on the floor where numbers and letters are incorporated with fitness. This game provides fitness based intelligence for the kid’s fitness, learning programs and therapy.

Fun of the Town event is continuing at UPTOWN Mirdiff on Saturday 30 May from 12pm to 6pm. It is an ideal event for children and family members of all age groups.

The Fat Truth campaign is supported by UNICEF’s strategic partner: General Women’s Union, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, WHO, the Ministry of Education and Princess Haya initiative for the Development Health, Physical education and school sports.

Media Partners include: Dubai Media Incorporated and Nickelodeon, in addition to Motivate Publishing, ITB Publishing, MediaQuest, Saydati wa Tefluki, Jeeran, Maktoob and 7Days.
About UNICEFUNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.

The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

About In Motion:
In Motion – a Dubai based edutainment company – is the MENA leading company in providing a healthy lifestyle that combines fitness and interactive gaming “Exergame” through innovative concepts that address today’s youths’ wellbeing. In Motion offers means to enhance children’s brains by way of vibrant bodies. Powered by “Exergame Fitness” – the world largest supplier of Exergame Equipment In Motion have initiated a novel wellness club for kids and families comprising the latest interactive “exergaming” equipment along with an integrated educational curriculum that teaches practical strategies to improve physical activity. In Motion Exergame Clubs are dedicated to keeping youth healthy and active by providing innovative and state-of-the-art child-friendly environment using products that address today’s inactivity, obesity and developmental learning problems. Further information is available on www.in-motion-club.com
For More information please contact:Ms. Zeina Habib LietaertCommunication and Partnerships SpecialistUNICEF – GulfMobile: +971506562753E-mail: zhabib@unicef.org

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