During the lockdown, members of our Student Activities Department were able to quickly adapt to the new ways of communicating and organising virtual events. From hosting their very first MDX virtual TalentFest to recognising student achievements at our annual MDX Awards Night for more than 250 students, the department ensured that students had the opportunity to celebrate their success and feel supported through such unprecedented times.
Not only has the department taken on various initiatives to promote mental wellbeing awareness during the pandemic, they’ve continued to consistently motivate students and staff members to work out, stay fit, and look after themselves through weekly workout sessions, fitness challenges, and the posting of healthy recipes on their Instagram channel @wearemdx.
Students were able to feel supported through the setting up of virtual weekly meetings, allowing students to check in with their peers and get involved in activities that would have previously been carried out on campus. This included dance and music challenges, TikTok challenges, open mic and quiz nights, and virtual club meetings. The team encouraged students to share their ‘life in lockdown’ stories to showcase the importance of staying at home while maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle.
Here’s what the team had to say about their lockdown experience:
"Family has always been the most important social unit in my life. This lockdown taught me just how much more important these relationships were to me. When I say family, I am referring to my student activities team, my basketball team, and the entire Middlesex University Dubai team. I am grateful for how much stronger and tighter these bonds have now become." – Coach Slavko
“We put a comprehensive plan together for the students, with particular focus on their mental wellbeing, student skills and fostering belonging during this challenging time. Students are part of our team and a team always works together.” – Selma
"This situation just reminded me of all things we take for granted, and I wanted to make sure that all of our students came out of this for the better. So I tried to exercise, to eat better, be smarter about my exercise and just do better, even if just a little better." – Coach Sasa
“These times have definitely been challenging but our students have shown us some incredible amounts of courage, will-power, dedication and unity. Their support towards each other and determination to never back down has honestly been inspiring to witness. I look forward to planning exciting things within the boundaries of the new normal and see what great things we achieve together with our students as a team” - Aafreen
Here’s what our students had to say:
“Virtual fitness session with Coach Sasa helped me to really progress with my fitness. Coach Sasa gave us specific workouts which helped target every part of the body, which helped me to stay fit and hopefully get a leading edge when the track season begins.” – Hadi Latheef
“Coach Sasa's workouts have been amazing! I've done all of them so far at least once and they're helping me stay active and in shape while I work full time. I've met more people from uni who followed the routines through the live sessions which made it all even more encouraging knowing that I was participating with others at the same time. Team Middlesex has been amazing throughout my academic life and I can't wait for more fitness content and activities.” – Rym Farran
“During the lockdown I had attended some of Coach Sasa’s live workout sessions. The first session I did was actually one of the first forms of exercise I had done during lockdown. Being used to going to volleyball three times a week before lockdown and then having no sports at all was hard for me. So, his virtual live fitness sessions really encouraged me to work out because I did not feel alone. I am someone who relies on group sports and exercise. It really got me moving and slowly pushed me to exercise on my own too. “ – Elena Stoica
“Fitness with Coach Sasa has been a great way for me to keep fit while staying at home. His workouts are easy to follow and his explanations clear and precise. Team MDX has certainly done a great job by introducing this initiative.” – Monique Rajpurohit