Boxing beauty Laila Ali in UAE to promote healthy lifestyle

‘I'm retired from boxing not promoting it’

Laila Ali, the youngest daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali assured fans that her father is in good health.

"My father is healthy," said Laila when asked about the health of 'The Greatest' who is suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Rumours were rife in the media recently that his health had deteriorated.

But Laila, who is in UAE to endorse Imperial College London Diabetes Centre's (ICDLC) public health awareness campaign, said that Muhammad Ali who turned 71 in January is fine.

Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, Laila who landed in Dubai on Tuesday night, said she was "super excited" to be in the UAE.

"I am super excited to be here. I was excited to come. I've heard so many good things. I've still not settled. I'm having jet lag but I’m totally awake," said the 35 year-old four-time former world boxing champion who is promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Asked whether she encourages women's boxing and whether the sport is dangerous, Laila replied: "Dangerous yeah. I don't promote it now. This was something I chose to do earlier."

"I'm retired from boxing not promoting it. It is something I used to love doing. Now what I promote is health and lifestyle," she said.

"Lifestyle is something which I'm passionate about which is very important for people who need to be educated and motivated," she added.

Her passion is promoting healthy lifestyle.

"Now that I'm not fighting anymore, I still continue to live a healthy lifestyle because I know the importance of it," she reiterated adding, "I'm a mother now and raising my children in a certain way and lead by example."

Twenty youngsters got a ringside seat to hear Laila Ali talk about the importance of a healthy lifestyle delivering support of ICLDC’s public health awareness campaign, ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’.

The multi-faceted campaign was launched in 2007 under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and stands strong as it continues to speak to the nation about the attributes of a balanced diet and regular exercise in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Ali attended a special workshop on the importance of a healthy lunchbox given by ICLDC’s Dietician and Nutrition Education Manager, Rahma Al Ketbi for students from the Family Development Foundation network.

Despite having quit the ring in 2007 as the undefeated champion, Ali has gone on to become a lifestyle expert, role model and even author.

She is now a world renowned ambassador of health and wellness with her own lifestyle brand. Ali has since completed a triathlon, written a book and currently hosts the US TV show Everyday Health.

Al Ketbi, who leads the Eat for Life pillar of ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’ and takes the interactive workshop to schools nationwide said having Ali’s visit is great news for the campaign’s outreach efforts.

“Laila Ali is a pioneer and role model for women across globe. Not only did she do exceedingly well as a sportswoman, but is now devoting her life to helping women make more informed choices about healthy lifestyle. She is here to support the simple and smart messages from ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’ calling for an active lifestyle and balanced diet.”

Ali’s visit to the UAE coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8. She is set to host Inspirational Women of Fitness, an Abu Dhabi-based event that is putting its weight behind ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’, as well as Operation Smile, and EWA’A Shelter’s for Women and Children.

Ali is joined by three-time US National Physique Champion, Rachel Omolewu and together they will offer nutrition advice and conduct fitness classes alongside a team of trainers from Inspire Sports Management (ISM).

ISM is behind Ali and Omolewu’s visit which aims to provide families the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sports presented by certified professional instructors in a safe and comfortable environment.


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