x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Emirati trainer hopes to inspire children to keep fit

Hamdan Khouri wants to lead by example and encourage more young Emiratis to exercise.

Emirati Hamdan Khouri, a personal trainer at Haddins Fitness, wants to promote a healthy lifestyle to children in the UAE. Christopher Pike / The National
Emirati Hamdan Khouri, a personal trainer at Haddins Fitness, wants to promote a healthy lifestyle to children in the UAE. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // A personal trainer hopes to do his bit for Emiratisation by promoting active, healthy lifestyles to children.

Hamdan Khouri, an Emirati who works at Haddins Fitness, heads a Yas Island summer camp that gives children an outlet to be active rather than "sitting on their couches and watching TV".

"I'm actually doing this for fun but when you're living in your own country you want to be doing things for your country," Mr Khouri said.

"Emiratisation is training young Emiratis to be ready for the real world. We're already doing well working in fields like business, engineering, government and international relations, and the government's doing a perfect job.

"But we want to spread it out. We can get involved in health, fitness and medicine too."

Mr Khouri said he wanted to lead by example and encourage more young Emiratis to exercise.

Because many teenage nationals are fasting for Ramadan, most of the participants at du Forum are expatriates or tourists.

Haddins Fitness tries to cater for all fitness levels and ages, Mr Khouri said. It also runs an "academy camp" for older youths, but the children's camp is less intense.

"None of them are here to get fitter but that does come with exercise. There's nothing too competitive or difficult that they wouldn't like. We want them to have as much fun as possible and to grow as children."

The camp maintains a maximum ratio of one coach to 10 children. Mr Khouri sometimes offers nutritional advice at lunch, teaching which foods are high in proteins.

The Haddins' summer camp offers boxing, dodgeball, capture the flag, obstacle courses, tennis, football penalty shoot-outs and more.

Mr Khouri said he and his assistant recently taught the children dances including the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style.

The summer camp runs from Sunday to Thursday, between 8am and 2pm. Parents can book three, four or five-day packages. It will continue to run until August 29.

The camp costs Dh750 a week, or Dh200 a day. If parents book a week in advance, it costs Dh650 a week.

The cost for two siblings is Dh1,200 a week, with Dh400 for each extra brother or sister. Call 02 403 4233 to book.

halbustani@thenational.ae