US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant arrived in the UAE to kick off his Health and Fitness Weekend in a bid to raise diabetes awareness.
“I’m enjoying Dubai. It is my first time here… I’m looking forward to the days that I am spending here and the chance to enjoy it and learn more about the culture first hand,” said Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant.
According to Dr Ghada Aoun, Medical Director and Specialist Endocrinologist & Diabetologist at Boston Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, 371m people around the world are diabetic and 50 percent still undiagnosed. Four of the top ten countries in the world with a diabetes epidemic are from the Middle East. “Kuwait is number six, Saudi Arabia is number seven, Qatar number eight and Bahrain number nine. The United Arab Emirates ranks 11th with a prevalence of 18.9 percent,” she stated.
Bryant gave a few helpful tips on how he keeps his health and fitness in check. “An important thing for me and throughout my career is the idea of constantly challenging yourself. We all go through adversities and we all have obstacles and I think it’s important to try to inspire the youth and inspire each other. I think the most important thing is this aspect and this idea of being inspired.”
“The hardest part of getting older is not training, because you are so used to training for so many years, the hardest part is being able to change the diet. You get accustomed to eating bad food your entire life and now you have to have the determination and a struggle with yourself to put that stuff to the side and actually start eating healthy for the first time. This changed about three years ago when I started becoming insanely competitive with what I am eating. Now I eat for performance, eat for recovery. It’s eating with a purpose,” he stated.
Freezone authority Dubai Multi Commodities Centre presented Bryant with a trade licence to do business in Dubai, and when asked what he planed to do with it, he responded: “Well there’s always ideas, but I think the really important thing is to understand the culture and the cultural inspirations that take place here. So I can’t come beforehand and say I want to do A,B,C without never have been here before. So I really want to understand the youth and understand the culture, and really just learn. Listen, learn and take it in.”
The Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness Weekend will continue on Thursday with a youth basketball skills clinic for 40 students at GEMS American Academy in Abu Dhabi. Bryant will be joined by players from the Real Madrid basketball ‘Legends’ team, giving students access to quality training.
A celebrity basketball game will be held on 27 September at Knights Arena at American University in Dubai. Bryant will lead the warm-up and coach a team of celebrity players, called Team Black Mamba, who will play against the Real Madrid basketball legends.
culled from the arab times.