Posted on: Wednesday 3 October, 2012 7:15
|Sixteen Abu Dhabi Firms Eye ‘Play For Life’ Cup
Three hundred and twenty company executives have signed up to join the fifth annual Play for Life football tournament which returns to the capital this month, according to Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Medical Director and Consultant Endocrinologist at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC).
Dr Maha confirmed that 16 Abu Dhabi-based companies have entered the upcoming Play for Life - Football 2012 tournament scheduled from October 7 to 11 at Zayed Sports City’s Grand Stadium.
The teams are divided into four groups of four to compete in seven-a-side matches, each of 30 minutes duration. The Play for Life cup final is slated for October 11.
Play for Life is part of ICLDC’s public health awareness campaign, ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and this Football 2012 activity is in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).
The competing teams include ADSC, Union National Bank, Injazat, Etihad Rail and Mubadala, as well as three-time cup winner, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT).
Dr Maha said that the multi-faceted campaign continues to promote a balanced diet and regular exercise as the smart, simple steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
“Studies show that a regular exercise practise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, helps manage and even prevent diabetes. The reason for this is that exercise is particularly effective at reducing “visceral fat”, the hidden fat inside our abdomens that predisposes us to diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the metabolic syndrome.”
Across the region, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, as well as the UAE all feature in the list of top ten countries with highest diabetes prevalence per capita of the population.
Indeed, figures suggest that 19.2 per cent of the UAE population are living with diabetes, with many cases attributed to obesity and physical inactivity.
Dr Maha said that since Play for Life’s football tournament kicked off in 2008, more than 1,200 players and in excess of 10,000 spectators have taken part, helping to spread the ‘healthy lifestyle’ message.
“A small survey among past players revealed that 90 per cent continue with regular exercise, something they didn’t do before taking part in the event,” Dr Maha concluded.