A group of HCT-Abu Dhabi Women’s Campus (ADW) students showed their physical and mental strength and stamina by hiking up Jebel Shams, Oman and the GCC’s highest peak at 3009 metres, to celebrate the UAE’s 45th National Day.
The hike started at 3.15 am, in total darkness and proved challenging for the Fitness for Life Club students and accompanying General Studies faculty Dr Ewa Gajer, Brendan O’Connor and Sports Coach Asma Maatig.
This is the third hiking outing for adventurous ADW students, groups of whom have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013 and Mount Fuji in 2015. All of these activities were sponsored by the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy as part of an MOU between the Academy and ADW to promote sports, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle to students.
The participating students had to train beforehand and engaged in activities, such as walks along the Corniche and Yas Marina Circuit, runs and cycle rides, vertical training at Zayed Sports City and kayaking in the Eastern Mangroves. They also had to pass a fitness test with the college’s Sports Coach.
“Our goal at HCT is to encourage students to live healthier, more active lifestyles, by providing them with many fitness and sports opportunities through their college life. This in turn is aligned to the HCT’s Strategic Goals of creating a new generation of work-ready graduates who can contribute to the rapidly growing economy, as well as empowering our students through vibrant campus environments which are engaged with their local communities,” said Dr Addel Al Ameri, ADW Director.
Dr Al Ameri said the initiative was also aligned to the UAE National Charter 2021 and the Health Authority Abu Dhabi Strategic Plan.
He noted that ADW students are adept at undertaking tough physical challenges, such as the forthcoming climb. “Our ADWC students, together with faculty mentors, made history in 2013 by climbing the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and then again in 2015 on Japan’s Mount Fuji.”
He said that ADW is pleased to collaborate closely with the event sponsor, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, to promote sports, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle to students.
“I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and this trip gave me a chance to challenge myself both physically and mentally,” said student Inoor Al Khoori.
“We had an amazing group of young women. They proved yet again that mountain hiking is as much about physical fitness as about determination and team spirit,” said Fitness for Life Club Leader Dr Ewa Gajer.
“I am really proud of these young women who were brave enough to try something they had never done before. It was a much harder climb than we anticipated, but the students showed true determination to reach their personal goals,” added Fitness for Life Club Leader Brendan O’Connor.
The students who participated in the trip were Asma Mohamed Alshehhi, Ayesha Ali Alyaarbi, Daula Abdulla Salem, Fatima Ahmed Khoori, Inoor Mohamed Al Khoori, Khawla Mohamed Al Hosani, Maryam Mohamed Alali, Salma Nawab Al Balooshi, Shaikha Hamad Al Junaibi, Shamma Husein Almarzooqi and Zainab Abu Baker Hashim. They were accompanied by Fatima Al Ali of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and a professional tour guide.
The students and their mentors were honoured by Dr Addel in a lively session where he presented them all with certificates of appreciation.
The Fitness for Life Club’s next planned major challenge for students will be in the Kingdom of Bhutan.