Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First launches innovative Fitness Box campaign to boost health and wellbeing in Qatar
Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First has launched ‘The Fitness Box’, an innovative new concept in health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality – Public Parks Department, with a launch event at Al-Rayyan Park (Green Carpet).
Initially, two venues – Al-Rayyan Park (Green Carpet) and Airport Park (Old airport area) – are hosting sustainable, solar-powered Fitness Box installations crafted from upcycled shipping containers and equipped with giant screens to broadcast tailor-made free fitness classes led by internationally renowned instructors to the community.
The Fitness Box classes are being run Sunday through Thursday (3pm-9pm), Friday (7am-11am & 3pm-9pm) and Saturday (7am-9pm). More Fitness Box installations will be rolled out at other parks and venues across Qatar, giving more people access to healthy exercise.
The innovative Fitness Box initiative has been designed to inspire all members of the community to take regular exercise and to realize that keeping fit and healthy is very important. The Fitness Box provides free exercise workouts, and the locations in parks provide a safe open-air space that allows participants to maintain social distancing while watching the fitness instructors on the giant screen. Each fitness class has been individually designed by popular fitness instructors according to criteria set out by Your Health First, with a focus on accessibility for all members of the community, no matter what their age or fitness level. Classes are offered in three languages – English, Arabic and Urdu – to further enhance accessibility. Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First is the flagship public health campaign of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) since 2012.
In attendance at the launch event were Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Khouri, Director of Public Parks at the Ministry of Municipality, Mr. Jaber Hassan Al Jaber, Director of Al-Rayyan Municipality, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Sada, Assistant Director of the Public Parks Department, Mr. Saleh Al Mana, Vice President and Government Affairs Director for ExxonMobil Qatar, Mr. Rashid Hamad Al Marri Director of Services Affairs at Al-Rayyan Municipality, Mr. Saleh Saad Alnabit, Head of Gardens Section at Al-Rayyan Municipality, and Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q.
Ms. Nesreen Al-Rifai, Chief External Affairs and Development Officer at WCM-Q and the driving force behind Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First, was also in attendance. Ms. Rifai said: “We know that the State of Qatar places a very high priority on empowering the future generation to stay fit and healthy so they can contribute to Qatar’s amazing national journey as they grow older. With the Fitness Box, we are bringing opportunities for exercise and inspiration directly to the community, giving everyone the chance to come together to enjoy keeping fit in a sustainable way. In addition to improving fitness, exercise helps prevent illnesses and provides a fantastic boost to mental health and wellbeing, as well as fostering a sense of community. We are very happy to have this excellent installation at the beautiful Al-Rayyan Park (Green Carpet) and extremely grateful to the Ministry of Municipality’s Public Parks Department and Al-Rayyan Municipality for their wonderful support in this important endeavor.”
The exercise sessions offered by The Fitness Box have been carefully designed to allow social distancing protocols to be observed. Sessions are offered to people of all ages, are suitable for all fitness levels and last between 15 and 20 minutes. No bookings are needed – participants are welcome to just turn up and enjoy getting fit with friends, family and the wider community.
Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Khouri, Director of Public Parks at the Ministry of Municipality, said: “This collaboration with Sahtak Awalan - Your Health First, launched by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, is part of our recognition of the importance of social responsibility in which all efforts are united toward Qatar National Vision 2030. This excellent initiative supports the Ministry of Municipality’s strategic goals to collaborate with health and sports entities to develop the entertainment areas at the public parks in order to encourage park visitors from all different age groups to exercise. The Fitness Box is a fantastic initiative that will give the health and wellbeing of the community a huge boost. With the FIFA World Cup 2022 approaching, levels of enthusiasm for physical activity are sky high and The Fitness Box gives people a great outlet for that energy, helping them to achieve their personal fitness goals while meeting other members of the community and building social cohesion in Qatar. The fact that The Fitness Box installations are solar powered is very significant and demonstrates that environmental practices and health and wellbeing can complement and support each other, creating a sustainable and healthy society for all.”
Mr. Jaber Hassan Al Jaber, Director of Al-Rayyan Municipality, said: “We are extremely proud and pleased to be part of this very important initiative that will allow our beautiful Al-Rayyan Park to support the health of the community by hosting The Fitness Box. Giving people of all ages the opportunity to exercise in the fresh air and healthful surroundings of Al-Rayyan Park will make a wonderful contribution to making Al-Rayyan a healthy city and therefore will help us achieve the goals set out in Qatar National Vision 2030. We are very happy to be working with Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First on this great initiative and I look forward to seeing many people enjoying keeping fit and healthy with The Fitness Box classes.”
Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First is supported by its strategic partners: Qatar Foundation, The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Municipality, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and ExxonMobil Qatar. The campaign was launched in 2012 and works to inspire and empower all members of the community to achieve and maintain good health in sustainable ways through a wide variety of initiatives.