Lamia Tariq
Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi with the UAE flag after winning gold in France. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE’s youngest gymnastic champion Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi has sent out a cute, heart-warming message to UAE residents exhorting everyone to stay indoors and remain fit.

Lamia is a mere eight years old, but is one of the leading champions of the UAE in rhythmic gymnastics. The youngster, who now trains at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, has appealed to everyone to stay at home and take care of themselves.

“Assalaam alaikum everyone. Hope you’re doing well. Please stay at home, for your sake, for my sake and for everyone’s sake,” Lamia says.

“Inshallah, we are going to be stronger and healthier when this is over. Stay safe, stay home and stay strong.”

After taking to rhythmic gymnastics at the tender age of five, Lamia has not looked back while picking up at least six international gold medals besides dominating at local competitions. Her first gold medal came at the age of six when she won the inaugural Dubai International Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships held at the Al Habtoor Indoor Complex in 2017.

Lamia, who won the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award in local category in Creative Sport in 2019, has been training for more than four years and has won many international competitions.

She has also won gold medals at the 2017 Open GR Azur International in Nice, France, and at the 2018 Armonia Cup in Thessaloniki, Greece. She followed this up with a silver medal at the 2017 Winter Cup in Leverkusen, Germany and clinched a bronze at the prestigious Novogorsk Winter Cup in Moscow at the end of 2018.

Training under accomplished World Champion Ksenia Dzhalaganiya’s Dubai Youth Olympic School, Lamia’s target remains a place in the UAE squad for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games. “I am training hard and giving my best even though I cannot go to school for training sessions due to this pandemic,” Lamia told Gulf News.

“I want to be a champion and champions don’t stop chasing their dreams. I have started something and I am going to fulfil my goal with the help of all those who are around me, including my parents, my family and my coaches. I owe this to myself first and then to everyone including my hero His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” she added.

“This situation too shall pass and we will all be able to once again be outside. But first we need to stay indoors and be safe.”