The Zumba® craze has taken the world – and Malaysia – by storm. Building upon its strong following, the fitness experts at Celebrity Fitness, in collaboration with the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, has successfully channeled this phenomenon towards a worthy cause with Zumba WAD!!! (Zumba® With A Difference).
The three-hour event saw the participation of more than 300 people, including celebrities who joined in the festivities to render their support towards the initiative. Spotted amongst participants include Choo Mei Sze, Dennis Gan, Henley Hii, Eizlan Yusof, Sean Lee and many more.
Led by Celebrity Fitness instructors – Sunny Cheong, Deno Au yong and Alex Phang – participants spent their morning sweating it out to the Zumba fitness routine, involving elements of dance and aerobics. Zumba®'s choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. Squats and lunges are also included. It is believed that approximately 14 million people take weekly Zumba® classes in over 140,000 locations across more than 185 countries!
To participate in the event, Celebrity Fitness members were required to pay a fee of RM40 while a RM50 fee was imposed for non-members. All proceeds, which totaled RM15,000 was channeled to the Malaysian AIDS Foundation to benefit its HIV treatment, care and support programme.
“HIV and AIDS are nothing new. They have been part of our society for a long time. At the same time, nobody wants to talk about it or to have anything to do with it as it is perceived as a sensitive issue. There seems to be a social stigma of sorts when it comes to HIV and AIDS. However, at the same time, the statistics are staggering – from 1986 to 2013, we have recorded over 101,672 cases of HIV, while 16,340 lives have been lost to AIDS related illnesses,” said Mr. Choi KwangHo, Senior Vice President of Celebrity Fitness Malaysia.
“In this regard, the Zumba® WAD event was held with a two-pronged objective. The first was to raise funds to help the Malaysian AIDS Foundation in their quest to eradicate the negative impact of HIV and AIDS. The second objective was also to increase awareness about the disease and discredit the sensitivity and social stigma associated with it,” said Mr. Choi.
In a bid to tackle the objective head-on, 15 people living with HIV were also invited to participate in the event – a bold move by the organisers which was well received by the participants, who could be seen mingling and working out together with them.
“Not only was the event a truly great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle by capitalising on the Zumba® craze, more importantly, it served as an ideal platform to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS and the plight of people who are negatively affected by the epidemic. Meanwhile, proceeds raised at the event will truly go a long way in helping us continue our work to provide lifesaving HIV treatment, care and support services to some of Malaysia’s most underserved communities due to stigma and marginalisation. Therefore, we would like to thank Celebrity Fitness for initiating this event, and encourage more parties to join in the concerted effort because everyone has a responsibility towards the prevention of HIV,” said Jasmin Jalil, Executive Director of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation.
Zumba® WAD was made possible by sponsors which included Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC), Capital FM & Red FM, adidas, Koamas Luxury Escapes, Sothy’s , Munchy’s Oak Krunch, SmileLink, Salonpas, Watson’s, L’oreal , GNC, NewUrbanMale, Revive, melissachens, Gardenia and Melvita.
For more information, kindly contact Celebrity Fitness Malaysia at 1300 – 222 – FIT (348) or log into www.celebrityfitness.com.my. You may also become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/CelebrityFitnessMalaysia.
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