The 2km walk starting at Za'abeel Park on Sunday was followed by fitness and educational activities for families and children Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new health education programme called ‘Superkidz’ for UAE public elementary schools was unveiled during the ‘Beat Diabetes Walk’ at Za’abeel Park in Dubai on Sunday.

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Landmark Group and Emirates Schools Establishments (Taaleem) announced their partnership to launch Superkidz within the framework of the annual Beat Diabetes initiative, coinciding with the 14th annual Beat Diabetes Walk, which was hosted by Landmark Group and saw the participation of over 15,000 people.

Superheroes promote health

Superkidz, a sub-programme of Beat Diabetes, features the distribution of English and Arabic comics to students across all public elementary schools under the Emirates Schools Establishment. Salem and Sara, the superheroes of these books, promote the importance of healthy lifestyle and the adoption of practices such as good diet and exercise.

(from left) Dr Abdulkareem AlOlama, CEO, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives; Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman, Landmark Group; and Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary-General, Dubai Sports Council, inaugurate the event Image Credit: Supplied

Sawsan Al Amiri, Head of Health Education Section, Emirates Schools Establishments (Taaleem), said: “Today’s Beat Diabetes Walk and the launch of the Superkidz health education programme mark a pivotal moment in our collective pursuit of a healthier future. By joining forces with Landmark Group, we are taking a significant step towards fostering a culture of wellness and preventive health across public elementary schools in the UAE.”

She added: “The Superkidz programme, with its focus on instilling healthy practices from a young age, aligns seamlessly with our commitment to raising awareness and prioritising health, well-being, and social welfare. Together, we can inspire a positive generational shift towards a healthier and more vibrant community.”

Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary-General, Dubai Sports Council, said: “This event emphasises the importance of sports and physical activity for community well-being in Dubai. It also highlights the vital role of the private sector in supporting these annual events. Dubai’s growing participation and genuine joy reflect the city’s commitment to a healthy, vibrant community.”

People from all walks of life, including students of determination, rallied for the cause Image Credit: Supplied

Year-round action

Nisha Jagtiani, Group Director, Landmark, said: “We have witnessed incredible community support at this year’s Beat Diabetes walk and family fun day. The success of this event is a testament to our collective resolve to foster a healthier, more vibrant Dubai, directly supporting the D33 Agenda’s focus on enhancing the quality of life for all residents. While November is globally recognised as Diabetes Awareness Month, our decision to host this event in February underscores our belief that a growing condition like diabetes demands our attention and action year-round.”

She added: “I am also proud to announce our partnership with Taaleem to bring health education into public elementary schools. We want to raise awareness of diabetes and healthy lifestyles from an early age so the youth can develop habits that will better sustain them and pave the way for a heathier next generation.”

Fitness and fun

This year’s Beat Diabetes event, held under the theme of ‘Step Into a Healthier Tomorrow’, brought families together for activities encouraging physical activity among participants of all ages. The customary 2km walk was followed by fitness, sports, educational activities and entertainment for families and children.

Beat Diabetes is a collaborative effort between Landmark Group, the private sector, government entities, and not-for-profit organisations. The partners for this year included Al Jalila Foundation, with which the Beat Diabetes has established a Dh5 million Beat Diabetes Fund for diabetes treatment.

During Sunday’s event, the health zone by Aster DM Healthcare introduced blood-glucose testing facilities that were free for all participants. A newly-introduced children’s area saw the participation of over 2,000 participants aged under 12 years old.

The walk was joined by representatives from more than 30 private and public sector partners, schools, and community groups.