Sunday, November 21, 2010

Malaysian wheelchair user promotes healthy lifestyle for disabled people through participation in World Walking Day

From The Star in Malaysia:

JOHOR BARU, Malaysia -- Being wheelchair-bound has not stopped former construction worker Zulkifli Hussein (pictured) from taking a step towards a healthy lifestyle.

The 45-year-old, who lost the use of his legs in a worksite accident, was among the 1,400 people participating in a World Walking Day event organised by Nestle at Taman Sri Stulang here.

“I was working at a construction site in the city when I fell and broke my spine.

“I was heartbroken as I lost the use of my legs, which would hamper me from taking part in sports,” he said.

However, he was determined not to let his disability come between him and sports. So, he continued playing badminton with his friends, even while confined to his wheelchair.

The sports enthusiast said he jumped at the chance to take part in the World Walking Day event because it was open to everyone, including the disabled.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to join in such a healthy activity. It will also encourage good ties between neighbours in the residential area,” he said, adding that he hoped that it could be turned into an annual event.

Another participant Ibrahim Hassan, 51, said World Walking Day was an opportunity for him to indulge in strenuous exercise after a long while.

“I feel good after walking two kilometres for the event. It’s been a while since I exercised and hopefully after this, I will feel motivated to be more active,” said the security guard.

He said the event should be held more regularly as it gave families the chance to hang out together. Nestle southern region sampling and events manager Soo Mey Chan said the event here was part of Nestle’s nationwide promotion of healthy living.

She said participants walked “3,000 steps”, which would be 30% of the 10,000 steps recommended for a healthy lifestyle each day.

“They had to walk along the 2km course in the residential area. It also allowed them to mingle with their neighbours and see for themselves the condition of their housing estate,” she pointed out.

The other five locations for the event are Taman Tasik Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur, Polo Ground, Jalan Sepoy Line in Penang, Padang MPK1 in Kuantan, Penampang Sports Complex Stadium in Sabah and the Kuching Waterfront in Sarawak.