Action-packed. From sparring sessions and workouts to obstacle courses, there is something for everyone Image Credit: Supplied photos

Abu Dhabi: ‘Fitness and fun for the whole family’ is the mantra of the first Yas Family Fitness Festival to be held from January 26-27 at Yas Island, Gateway Park South. The two-day programme will include a full schedule of complimentary health, nutrition and physical activities from 9am to 5pm.

“We are proud to host the first dedicated family fitness festival in Abu Dhabi. With easy access and ample space for so many different activities and classes, there will be something for every visitor at the festival,” said Chris Fountain, group managing director of Turret Events, which is organising the festival.

Activities galore

Families can pick their activities from a range of options which include workout sessions, nutritionist talks, fitness challenges and healthy cooking challenges. One can also shop for sport apparel.

The highlight of the event is a 45x20 metre inflatable obstacle course meant for the whole family. Those who want to flex their muscles can try the Truck Pulling Challenge by Primal Gym.

The 800 Sport Outdoor gym will be open throughout the day, with expert nutritionists providing advice on healthy living. There will be cooking challenges conducted by the Slim & Lite and Souq Planet Healthy Cooking School. One can have sparring sessions with Primal Gym’s finest fighters in the Boxing Ring. Children will have a field day at the My GYM UAE Kids Zone which will have a full-fledged kids’ gym, zumba, gymnastics and a 7.5-metre climbing wall.

Fitness Ambassadors

Event ambassador Omar Al Duri will lead an interactive question and answer session on fitness on January 27. Duri is a World Cup footballer and head coach at the UAE FA for both the women’s senior and under 14’s football teams.

Dubai-based Australian fitness expert Eva Clarke, who also serves an ambassador, will conduct a tabata workout routine on January 26.

The third ambassador and creator of JumpFitDubai, Jennifer Chalouhi, will conduct a JumpFit class on January 27.

“The festival is the first of seven free events that Yas Island is hosting in 2018, and we have no doubt that it will be a big hit,” said Gerardo Llanes, Executive Director, Yas Island Destination Management.

Eva Clarke interview

Event Ambassador and fitness coach Eva Clarke is an 11-time Guinness World record holder for various fitness challenges. XPRESS caught up with her to find out how she makes breaking world records look so easy.

What made you want to become a fitness coach?

Having played sports all my life, I am very passionate about having an active lifestyle. I started training others when I joined the Australian Army as a combat fitness leader in 1999. It is a wonderful feeling when you can guide and motivate others to lead an active healthy lifestyle.

How is the fitness scene in the UAE when compared to that in Australia?

When I came to the UAE in 2012, there was a vast indifference to fitness lifestyles here. Fast forward to 2018, the evolution has been beyond what I imagined possible. A lot of health experts have introduced a diverse culture of fitness that is on par with many western countries.

What did you achieve the World Records for?

As a fitness trainer and endurance athlete, I pushed myself to my limits in some of my favourite exercises including burpees, push-ups and pull-ups. So far I have made 11 Guinness world records in the name of charity and awareness for multiple children’s organisations.

I did them to raise awareness of these charities and possibly inspire others to start exercising.

How did you work towards the world records?

I put in a lot of hours each day so that my body could handle the strain of a repeated movement for 24 hours. I trained the exercises I was attempting specifically in every session.

To be honest, training a few hours a day didn’t really prep my body for the 24-hour challenges. When it came down to it, it was my mindset. The key was not letting myself quit.

What age appropriate fitness regimes would you suggest for kids, teens and young adults?

It doesn’t matter what age you are, you have to find something that you love. Kids and young adults can start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, crossfit training, swimming etc. Then it’s up to the coaches and the fitness leaders to develop a programme that suits their specifics goals and needs.

Entry to Yas Family Fitness Festival is free but only on registration. Visit www.fitfest.ae for registration