News & Media

#MovedByLondon: Aftar Ali

Tower Hamlets resident Aftar Ali has always been physically active. He was introduced to sport by his parents at the age of four and went on to play semi-professional football.

Aftar is now set to take on The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 10 March 2019, with the hope of inspiring the young people in his community to take up sport at an early age.

This is Aftar's story.

"My parents introduced me to football and tennis from a young age. So, from day one I loved it and even 40 years later I still enjoy it.

"I started football at the age of 15, and I started at a semi-pro club. I realised I needed to do physical strength workouts such as core muscles and leg workouts to keep fit. So, I kept it going, even though I retired from semi-pro football, just to keep myself active.

"Exercise means a lot to me. It gives me a mindset of being free from a long stressful day. Even if it is once a day, or a couple times a week, it helps you feel good.

"I am competing in The Vitality Big Half because it is a good opportunity for me and the local community, and the youngsters who look up to me. If I can help get involved with the local sporting foundations, it will help the youngsters from these communities stay healthy and stay active.

"My aims in running The Vitality Big Half are to inspire youngsters to take part, as well as inspiring myself and staying active as this is a challenge for me.

"I’m from Tower Hamlets, a community of over 70 nationalities. By running, I hope to inspire my local community."

Entry into The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 10 March 2019 is open to residents of the four host boroughs – Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.

You can also now sign up to take part in two other events at The Vitality Big Half running festival: The Little Half or The Vitality Big Mile.

After Ali is one of six Community Champions who will be sharing their running stories as part of The Vitality Big Half #MovedByLondon campaign. Look out for more from our Community Champions over the coming weeks.