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Over 900 students gather to stay fit.

Over 900 students gather to stay fit

The Fitnovation initiative by Jumeirah Baccalaureate School aims to improve the wellness of not only students but also parents. When 10-year-old Sarah Al Mahmoud was asked why she likes to stay fit, her answer was far beyond her years.

"Not being fit can lead to so many diseases and can lead to a lot of sickness," she told Khaleej Times.

Though impressive, this answer was alarming, and proves just how prevalent lifestyle diseases are in 2016.

Sarah was joined by more than 900 students on the sports field at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School (JBS) in Dubai to launch its Fitnovation campaign.

An initiative that will run throughout the month of November, the name combines the words: fitness, November and innovation.

Ryan Ewaskiw, Deputy Head of Primary, told Khaleej Times that Fitnovation is the school's answer to the call of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for UAE residents to be "innovative and happy".

"By combining fitness and well-being into our programmes we are boosting and making sure our kids have lots of energy so they are able to work well in their academics."

And if students "eat well, sleep well and move well", they will perform better in the areas of science, math and technology, he said.

The second edition of the campaign will see the launch of the Fitnovation contest, where students can express what Fitnovation means to them.

For 10-year-old Ghalya Sedki, it's all about being healthy, and for Fatma Al Deeb and Maryam Al Hashimi, it's about getting up, being active and taking control of your life. But it's not just students who are under the spotlight.

Richard Drew, Principal of JBS said the 'Fit For 30' fitness community programme turns the spotlight on ladies in and outside the JBS family.

"We've got the thirty-day parent challenge, where parents have to show evidence of doing something fitness-focused for 30 minutes. And when they don't, they have to make a donation to charity."

So far there are 100 mothers taking part in the challenge.

The whole ethos behind the campaign is to develop an attitude that sports and physical activity is very important, Drew said.

"We're tweaking and developing our extracurricular programmes, so we've started having children come and play sport in the mornings before school."

And although Fitnovation is all about challenging students and families to be extra aware of family wellness during the month of November, the end-goal is to make it a habit, 24/7, 365.

© 2017 Jumeira Baccalaureate School. All Rights Reserved. A Taaleem School

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