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National Basketball Association’s all time leading scorer to take a step for diabetes in the garden city, Al Ain with Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC)


The Al Ain Municipality is bound to witness a buzz with the announcement of the ICLDC Take A Step For Diabetes Week with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar whowill be heading to Al Ain to lead the walk for diabetes. The Los Angeles Lakers legend will lead a walk at the grounds of Al Ain Municipality on Wednesday, 29th October. The community initiative is aimed to encourage the citizens of Al Ain City to lead active lifestyles and obtain health education about diabetes prevention. Members of Al Ain Municipality and school students from Al Ain will be participating in the walk.

The event is presented by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), organisers of the annual diabetes walk at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Now in its eighth year, the Abu Dhabi walk has grown exponentially with more than 20,000 people taking part in Walk 2013. The Al Ain Walk will be the first diabetes walk hosted in the garden city.


“We are really looking forward to Kareem’s visit to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in support of ICLDC’s healthy lifestyle campaign. He will be meeting with patients and team members in both our centres to talk about the importance of a balance diet and regular exercise.  He will also help launch our first walkathon in Al Ain, and we are thrilled about this” said Bashar Al Ramahi, ICLDC’s Chief Executive Officer.


Abdul-Jabbar’s visit comes ahead of ICLDC’s annual community event, #Walk2014 at Yas Marina Circuit and attracted more than 20,000 participants last year. It takes place on November 7 this year.

Kicking off the Al Ain activities on Wednesday, the 218cm basketball legend will speak to students at Brighton College Abu Dhabi about the importance of taking steps to lead an active lifestyle and maintain a well balanced diet at an early age to ensure best possible health as adults.

Prior to the Al Ain Walk 2014, ICLDC will be conducting health education seminars for Al Ain Municipality employees. The weeklong series of events with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is designed to encourage the UAE community to lead active lifestyles and create awareness about the role of a healthy lifestyle in preventing and combating diabetes.

The visit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar culminates ICLDC’s month long health education campaign in Al Ain which launched today. Nutrition and fitness educational brochures are being distributed at Al Ain Municipality sectors providing nutrition advice and sample diet plans in addition to sample work-outs and tips on how to stay active.  The brochures include a 28 day journal in which participants can keep track of their daily diet and exercise activity.  For school children, ICLDC has partnered with Abu Dhabi Education Council to encourage students to eat five fruits or vegetables a day. To make the campaign fun and goal oriented, students are able to track each time they eat a portion of fruits or vegetables on a chart using stickers.

Currently, the UAE is ranked 15th worldwide, with 18.98% of the UAE population living with diabetes. These statistics indicate that the country has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity. ICLDC’s public health awareness campaign, Diabetes-Knowledge-Action, is the longest running public awareness campaign in the UAE.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a global icon that changed the game of professional basketball and went on to become a celebrated author, filmmaker, and ambassador of education. As one of the NBA’s all time greatest players, the 7-feet-2-inch Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years amassing six NBA championships, 19 all-star team selections, and 38,387 points, making him the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer.

In 2012, the New York Times best-selling author was appointed to be the US Cultural Ambassador by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He is currently a contributing columnist for Time Magazine and Society Editor for The Tokyo Journal.  He is currently filming his bio-pic for HBO set to release February 2015. Each year Kareem helps 22,000 school-children attend Camp Skyhook which gives kids a shot that cannot be blocked. The Los Angeles based camp incorporates a hands-on five day outdoor learning experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Learn more at www.campskyhook.org


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