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New physical activity strategy for Eastern Bay

New physical activity strategy developed for Eastern Bay communities

Wednesday 5 July 2006

A new strategy outlining three to five year physical activity plans for Kawerau, Whakatane and Opotiki has been developed.

The Active Eastern Bay Strategy seeks to provide Eastern Bay communities with a clear set of priorities for the enhancement of existing and/or development of new recreation and leisure services across the sub-region and districts.

The three district councils, Sport Bay of Plenty, Mataatua Sports and Toi Te Ora Public Health have been working together to develop the plan since last October.

“Putting together the strategy involved desk research, online surveys, questionnaires, key agency interviews, 15 community workshops and a wide variety of visits to schools and workplaces,” says spokesman Gareth Moore-Jones. “The work done by all organisations involved is staggering and is to be applauded.”

The key findings of the strategy include:

- Ensure diverse physical activity opportunities that meet the needs of the individual communities.

- Cost is still a barrier. Whether it is travel, cost of entry or equipment.

- Volunteers are crucial.

- Physical education in schools is central to health habits.

- Eastern Bay residents highly value the “great outdoors”.

- Event-based physical activity and tourism are valued.

- Walking and cycling are on the rise.

- Sub-regional hub facilities have a place.

(Executive Summary expands on these findings – see attachment)

The strategy includes an approach for each council as well as a sub-regional approach. The documents are “living” and over time, more work will be done and changes made.

“Now that the councils have individual plans, it’s up to them and the other organisations involved to take action. I have total confidence they will adopt the strategy and work hard to implement it,” says Gareth Moore-Jones.

Representatives from each organisation involved are meeting at the end of August to organise the way forward.

The Executive Summary (brief insight to strategy) is attached.

The full Active Eastern Bay Strategy document provides detailed information on sub-regional issues and actions as well as district issues and actions for Opotiki, Kawerau and Whakatane.

The full document will be available from www.nzrecreation.info from Monday 10th July.

ENDS

See... Executive Summary: Physical Activity Strategies

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