Wheelchair-bound athlete pushes fitness limits in Dubai

Pakistani expat Omeir Mohammed, 21, accepted the 30X30 Dubai Fitness Challenge not just to strengthen his core and improve his stamina but also to inspire people of determination like him to go beyond their physical limitations.

Omeir is a wheelchair basketball athlete. “As an athlete, it is my duty and part of my discipline to accept any challenges to develop myself and break my own limits,” he told Khaleej Times on Monday.

“When I was six years old, I had a spinal tumour that damaged my nervous system. I survived but I had to be in a wheelchair since then,” he added.

Growing up, Omeir focused on getting fit. He got into different sports and included a strict physical regimen in his daily routine. His determination paid off as in December 2010, he participated in the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games. Local sports industry leaders also took note of his achievements and he was honoured with UAE Teen Sports and Fitness Awards.

Omeir then shifted his attention to wheelchair basketball. He said: “I’ve been playing basketball for about a year now, but always had a passion for it.

“Wheelchair basketball is one of the most exciting and dynamic games out there. It requires a lot of focus to manage and control your wheelchair, while keeping an eye on the court and handling the ball altogether, this is why I play it,” Omeir said. “Every time I hold the ball, an intense jolt of adrenaline hits me – the pain in my shoulders, the exhaustion of lungs, everything feels so good! I don’t think I can live without it (basketball),” he added.

Now, with the Dubai Fitness Challenge thrown in, Omeir said he sees this as an opportunity to encourage everyone to break a sweat and engage in any physical activity that best suits them.

“Every day, I begin with 10 minutes of intense cardio and stretches then proceed to my athletics training. After an hour and a half, I go indoors to practise basketball for another hour and a half, and finish with some more stretching and rest. I will stick to my routine every day, but for the challenge, I will add an extra 3-km walk or run,” Omeir said.

“My sport requires a lot of endurance and stamina, and by doing the fitness challenge, I am hoping to adapt my body to the stress and be more focused and comfortable in all my trainings,” he added.”It’s hard, yes! It’s tough and painful, yes! But when has life ever been easy? Strength only comes through hard work and effort. If I can do it, so can you. Let’s do it together.”

Paddle for fitness

>What: Kayaking in Ajman

>Where: Quest for Adventure, Ajman

>Time: 5pm

 Duration: 30 minutes

Fun for kids

>What: Ninja warrior obstacles, trampoline, acrobatics

>Where: Just Play Adrenaline Village, JLT

>Time: 7am-9am

>Duration: Unlimited

Adrenaline-pumping activities

>What: Free fitness classes happening on the main stage.

>Where: DMCC Park running track and fitness trail

>Time: 7am-9am

>Duration: 30 minutes

Get your vitamin Sea

>What: Beach-themed exercise

>Where: Kite Beach

>Time: 7am-6pm

>Duration: 30 minutes

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