If you’ve not yet followed Team Angel Wolf on Instagram, do. This inspiring family, made up of father Nick Watson, his son Rio, who has intellectual and physical disabilities, his daughter and his wife, is all about inclusivity and health. Now, thanks to the Dubai Fitness Challenge, followers and fans have been able to work out with Watson and his impressive family. Every Sunday at 6pm in Sustainable City, people have been invited to get involved in the free, public #TogetherWeCan community event.
“We want to show that anything is possible,” says Watson of the events. “To show families, especially Emirati families, that if you have a child with determination, you need to find their passion. I’ve been very fortunate – I found what Rio’s passion in life was. He loves being sat in a kayak, on the bike or the push chair and is super happy.” Watson’s hope, he continues, is inspiring other people to try things out and get involved.
The whole purpose of the Sustainable City event during the Dubai Fitness Challenge has been to bring the community together with people of determination, continues Watson.
“Hopefully, by the end they’re all best friends. As a non-profit organization, our focus was always about inclusion as well as wellness, health, positive health and sustainability. We’re lucky with the DFC as it fits in perfectly.”
Team Angel Wolf also runs regular sessions at Fairmont the Palm in the water and “Ride with Rio” events at Al Qudra. The latter was launched in response to frequent messages from Instagram followers wanting to meet 14-year-old Rio.
“Anyone can join in and people of determination are encouraged to come down. It’s just magical,” says Watson.
“People come up to Rio now, and it’s all a dad wants. He doesn’t have a disability. He’s just Rio.”
The Fairmont the Palm program involves five floating chairs. “We invite people of determination and children to participate in a one-hour activity where kids are running up and down the beach and racing in the water with the chairs,” he explains. At first, the kids are shy and most have never met anyone with a disability. “Five minutes later, they’re best friends and everyone has a great time.”
If you’re interested in getting involved beyond the Dubai Fitness Challenge, keep an eye out for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Held March 14 to 21, this amazing event anticipates drawing 7,500 athletes from more than 176 nations. It’s the first-ever Special Olympics World Games held in the Middle East and North Africa. And don’t forget to follow Team Angel Wolf on Instagram.
“We want to bring our story to the Special Olympics and for people to realize how special these kids are, and that they should be integrated into the community,” says Watson.
“If we can do more activities where all these kids have got smiles on their faces, then it’s just awesome.”
Featured photo: Nick Watson and son Rio. Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist and globally recognized influencer and leader in the body acceptance movement.