The winners with officials during the awards ceremony.
Doha: Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) recognised the Community College of Qatar as the winners of ‘SIH in the Campuses’ in an official award ceremony. The winners of the competition, which was part of AZF’s wider ‘Step into Health’ (SIH) initiative, were honoured by Dr Mohammed Ghaith Al Kuwari, the Director of Healthy Lifestyle programme at Aspetar — member organisation of AZF, and a number of deans and professors from participating universities.
This initiative included participants from five universities, including the Community College of Qatar (male and female), The College of the North Atlantic - Qatar, Qatar University (male and female), University of Calgary in Qatar and Stenden University Qatar.
The winning team took first place after averaging 292,000 steps during the three-month challenge. In total, more than 392 million and 405,000 steps were taken by participants from all the universities who participated in the challenge. The College of the North Atlantic won the second place and Community College of Qatar female campus won the third place.
Dr Al Kuwari emphasised the role of Aspire Zone Foundation in advocating physical activity among members of society. He said: “Preserving the health of our youth is vital. They represent a wealth of intellectual resources and will one day be the drivers of our economy and prosperity.”
Dr Al Kuwari continued, “Overall, we were very happy with the energy that the students, faculty members and employees brought to the ‘Step into Health’ initiative. Our success is dependent on the positive mentality that members bring to programmes that encourage people to exercise regularly. We would like to celebrate and honor the leaders and pioneers of this program, past, present and future, who strive to educate others on the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle.”
Abdullah Saeed al Mohannadi, a Health Promotion Researcher at Aspetar, said: “Speed is an essential part of our modern world and everything is accessible with a simple push of a button. Therefore, we have developed a state-of-the-art application for the ‘Step into Health’ programme to be used on mobile phones that will satisfy the expectations of the younger generations. This is the first application in Arabic which counts steps just like a pedometer. It provides regular health and nutritional advice to users and it also counts calories burnt during exercise.”
“The participation of students from different universities in our initiative and the launch of our new application is a significant milestone for this programme. At AZF, we are constantly looking for opportunities to help members of our society enjoy a healthy and happy life,” he added.
During the ceremony Al Mohannadi honoured journalist Smail Telai for his award received from the Council of Arab Ministers of Health on his article “Step into Health: a dose of motivation”, Mohannadi commented, “Media plays an important role and consolidates our efforts to reach out to the community, their support is crucial for the success of our various programmes. This support endorses our mission of engaging the community in regular physical activities to promote health and well-being.”
Last November, AZF launched its ‘SIH in Campuses’ challenge in five different universities under the slogan, ‘Support your University and Participate in the Challenge’. The effort was designed to include all sectors of society and encourage students, professors and staff to walk more and change their daily routines. To prepare for the challenge, teams held special sessions at the participating universities to introduce the ‘Step into Health’ initiative, which included presenting the benefits of the initiative, and explaining how to use both the pedometer and the new smartphones application.
Aspire Zone Foundation launched the 2nd edition of ‘Step into Health’ in parallel with three new initiatives.