Young people from Somalia are being urged to embrace sports and healthy living.
A group of young men and women from Mogadishu have organized the county’s first arm-wrestling challenge to create awareness about peace and community integration.
The men and women are some of the city’s best body fitness instructors – but they are set to battle it out in Mogadishu’s first arm wrestling challenge.
Participants are mostly young men – in their early 20s – with each participant seeking to take home the victory for their respective districts.
For some – it’s been months of training – ahead of this event.
And Iiside the hall – supporters cheer for their favourite arm wrestlers as they exert every ounce of their energy – using every muscle in their bodies
One of the instructors shares with us why he came for the challenge
“I’ve been a gym instructor for the past four years. I came here today to participate in this arm wrestling competition and I’ve managed to proceed to the second round of this event that will be held later in the year.” Abass Abdikhaliq Noordin, fitness instructor said.
Organizers say that this is entirely an event to foster peace and integration among the city young residents – in a capital that’s slowly rebuilding after years of instability
“The main aim is community integration – especially for the young people. 16 districts of the capital were present. Each participant had his own supporters from his district. A lot of young men are involved in body fitness and training – and today was an eye opener for them that such tournaments can take place in their home country.” Isse Hassan Ibrahim, event organizer said
The second leg of the arm-wrestling challenge is due to take place within the year – organizers hope to set an example for young people and encourage healthy living – and at the same time distract them from migrating or joining militant groups
As stability slowly returns to the capital- many young men and women – in the city are turning to fitness centers like this one to pastime and get healthy.
Experts have urged Mogadishu to invest in its youth – and this comes amid concerns that many are fleeing the country due to poverty and massive unemployment rate in the country – youth in Somalia currently make up 70% of the country total population
For the past several years young people are taking a leading role and have joined hands in bringing about lasting peace and stability in Somalia.
The city has its first peace garden -a symbol of hope that the country is improving its image after a brutal civil war that once turned Mogadishu into a ghost city.