Ten Western Bay of Plenty primary and intermediate schools are soon to experience a boost to their healthy active learning thanks to a $365k investment from TECT over three years.
Healthy Active Learning is a joint government initiative between Sport New Zealand and the Ministries of Health and Education to improve the wellbeing of tamariki through quality physical activity and healthy eating and drinking.
The TECT investment will support Sport Bay of Plenty’s expansion of the initiative into 10 Western Bay of Plenty schools, some of which have previously been part of the GO4it fundamental movement skills programme.
Sport Bay of Plenty chief executive Heidi Lichtwark said the commitment from TECT will enable more schools to experience the benefits of the Healthy Active Learning initiative.
“Healthy Active Learning was initially rolled out to 30 schools in the Central Bay region in 2019. Since then the initiative has gone from strength-to-strength, and we’re really starting to see the impact in participating schools.
“Sport New Zealand is helping us expand the initiative into a further 40 schools and kura across the Bay of Plenty in 2022, so it’s really exciting to have the support of TECT to help us reach even more schools than we initially thought we would be able to.”
Lichtwark said a big reason for the success of Healthy Active Learning is that the initiative draws together a number of different organisations to collaborate and support schools to co-design local curriculum aimed at improving tamariki wellbeing.
As part of the initiative, participating schools and kura have access to a skilled workforce at Sport Bay of Plenty and local primary healthy organisations that can collaboratively help them develop engaging physical activity opportunities and healthy food and drink environments.
“It’s a great way to combine professional expertise with local knowledge and lived experiences to ensure these school communities can develop sustainable practices around healthy eating, drinking and quality physical activity,” explains Lichtwark.
“In the long run that supports our tamariki to have positive attitudes, knowledge and behaviours towards nutrition and physical activity that they can carry through life.”
TECT Trustee Mark Arundel said the local trust was proud to support the initiative, which will have a long-lasting impact on thousands of young lives.
“Here at TECT, we were keen to support the Healthy Active Learning initiative as we work to create a thriving, caring, connected community here in the Western Bay of Plenty through our funding. We know that this initiative will keep tamariki thriving by helping them to make positive, informed choices and develop critical perspectives about food, nutrition and physical activity.
“The initiative also ensures young people are actively and positively engaging in learning, it encourages schools to develop cultures that value and prioritise quality physical activity and nutrition, and it supports schools and communities to provide access to healthy food and quality physical education.
“The ripple effects of this initiative reaching more children with the additional ten schools we are supporting is a lifetime of healthy choices. The impact will be huge, and we’re so pleased we can be a part of that.”