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Body Odyssey - more than just child's play

Body Odyssey - more than just child's play.

On Monday, 30 May, the Body Odyssey festival enters its fourth week at the TelstraClear Events Centre - a week dedicated to adult health.

Since the Te Papa exhibition opened on 11 May, thousands of kids of all ages have experienced what it's like to be swallowed, crawled through blood vessels and discovered all kinds of things about bodily functions.

This week, adults can drop in and take part in "Alive in O5". This is a programme of free events sponsored by Manukau City Council, which includes exercise classes, presentations on the effects of drugs and alcohol, diabetes testing and live entertainment.

"This isn't just an exhibition where adults are the taxis and have to wait on the side-lines until the kids have tired themselves out - we want them to be involved, too," says Sue Zimmerman, Health and Wellbeing Planner at Manukau City Council.

The week culminates in a culture explosion with performances from Soifua Village Polynesia and Pacific youth and adult choirs, Tai Chi and live music. Samoan comedian, Tofiga, is the Master of Ceremonies.

Sue Zimmerman is delighted at the enthusiasm received from community groups. "Manukau City Council's support has meant they can participate for free, bringing them into contact with thousands of visitors who might not otherwise approach them. It also gives them the chance to celebrate the opening of the magnificent new events centre."

Community is at the heart of the Body Odyssey and throughout the week visitors will be able to explore health promotion stalls from over 35 local organisations. Feel Safe Papatoetoe; the Diabetes Project Trust, based in Otara; MIT; Counties Manukau Fire Service and MUMA Road Safety are just some of the groups taking part.

"We are very excited about the festival, which is the perfect event for families to have a fun day out and at the same time learn about how to stay healthy," says Kate Smallman of the Diabetes Project Trust in Otara.

"We will be offering prevention advice and screening for diabetes, with positive support and advice in a fun environment."


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