Football superstars urge UAE fans to stay at home and keep working out

Figo, Anelka and Roberto Carlos back Dubai Sports Council’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ campaign

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DUBAI – Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and Nicolas Anelka, three of the biggest names from the world of football, have backed Dubai Sports Council’s “Be Fit, Be Safe” campaign and urged members of UAE’s sports-loving community to stay at home and keep working out.

Supporting the efforts of UAE government and authorities to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus, Figo, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year and one of the greatest players of his generation, released a video message to his ‘friends and fans in the UAE’, through Dubai Sports Council’s social media accounts.

“To all my friends in Dubai and the UAE, this is a really difficult moment and we need to take care of us and others as well,” said Figo, who made 127 appearances for the Portugal national team and is one of the few players to have played for both Spanish rival clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“So stay at home and try to be fit while you are at home. Let us all say, ‘Be Fit and Be Safe’. Take care.”

Former Brazil and Real Madrid star Carlos, described as the most offensive-minded left-back in the history of the game, also sent out a video message saying, “Hello my friends in Dubai and UAE, stay at home, and be fit and be safe.”

Dubai resident Anelka, a former France national team striker with clubs like Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City on his resume, added: “What’s up guys. To all my friends in Dubai and UAE, be safe and don’t forget to train while staying at home. Let’s all say, ‘be fit, be safe’.”

The “Be Fit, Be Safe” campaign was launched by Dubai Sports Council to encourage members of the community to continue exercising at home following the precautionary closure of gyms to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Through the campaign, which is being run under the hashtag #DSCchallenge, Dubai Sports Council is urging members of the community to be safe and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary, but, at the same time, continue exercising at home and share their home workout videos online, tagging @DubaiSC, to help motivate and inspire others.

The Council also requested those sharing their videos to nominate two friends to take up the challenge. The “Be Fit, Be Safe” initiative has received widespread support from the community, with experts from the fitness industry and some of UAE’s top sports stars, taking part alongside many others, including mums and dads, and schoolkids, of different nationalities.

As part of the campaign, DSC has also linked up with some of the leading brands from UAE’s fitness industry to offer free daily virtual fitness classes, led by certified fitness trainers.

Italy’s Marco Schillaci, a long-time resident of Dubai and owner of Fitness and Wellness Personal Sports Coaching, has embraced #DSCchallenge as well and has been sharing his home workout videos, one of which shows him doing the famous “Macarena” dance steps with his hands while he holds a squat.

“Thank you to Dubai Sports Council for this amazing campaign #DSCchallenge,” said Schillaci, who obtained his basic fitness certificates in Italy before travelling to Australia to attend classes at one of the country’s top fitness schools, the Australian Fitness Academy, for further certifications.

“It is an amazing feeling to give something to the community during this tough period of quarantine. The Online Live Classes are the best way to make everyone active and have fun.” — SG


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