Health: Sporty Kids Gym Opens this Month in Jeddah
Gym for Sporty Boys and Girls Gets the Go-Ahead

Arab News   JEDDAH, - A new gym for children is set to open in Jeddah this 
month to provide youngsters - both boys and girls - with an opportunity to lead 
healthier lives.
Sporty Kids, which will allow in girls between five and 13, and boys between 
five and nine, will open on May 21 in the Al-Nahda district of the city. "The 
main idea of the gym is to offer children a better lifestyle through nutrition 
and sports programs that suit their ages," said Mowaffaq Al-Dabbagh, general 
developer of the project.

Prince Sultan ibn Fahd, president of Youth Welfare, gave the owners the 
go-ahead to start the gym, the opening of which will be attended by Jeddah Gov. 
Mishaal ibn Majed, and 150 businesswomen, headmistresses and college officials.

Al-Dabbagh, who is also the owner of the men-only Shams Gym in Al-Zahra 
district, is the Kingdom's Tae Kwon Do champion and an authorized trainer. 
"Girls cannot join Shams. I am glad Prince Sultan agreed to launch Sporty Kids. 
Now young girls can join, especially those who suffer from obesity problems at 
a young age and need to use their energy in something useful," he said, adding, 
"Sports improves children's attitude."

Women, mostly Saudis, will staff the new gym, which will have a gymnastic 
section run by a qualified Russian gymnastics trainer, aerobics classes, 
child-size training machines, and karate trainers accredited by the Japan 
Karate Association of which Sporty Kids is a member.

Fencing and cricket are among sports that will also be available at the center. 
The gym has coordinated with the Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation to teach the 
sport to children.

It will also offer a nutrition program, supervised by the University of Texas, 
to help children monitor their weight and eat healthy food.

The gym, which is located in a 650 square meter building and cost SR3 million, 
has taken a year to develop. People wishing to become members will be able to 
do so on a four, six and 12-month membership basis.

Al-Dabbagh said that there is a future plan to build a sports village for 
children that will give members the opportunity to participate in competitive 
games, such as football, tennis and volleyball.

Al-Dabbagh said that Prince Sultan supports the idea of having women-only gyms. 
"Islam does not forbid women from sports as long as they are dressed modestly. 
Women do not have a place for sports, which should, in the least, be included 
in schools," he said.

He added that the gym will arrange school trips and will each month give five 
girls, who are in the care of orphanages and charity societies, a chance to 
train there free of charge.

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