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Challenge to get Cantabrians even more active

September 23, 2004

Challenge to get Cantabrians even more active

Thousands of Cantabrians on Monday begin the 240km Sea 2 Sea challenge led by Sport Canterbury to motivate people to become more physically active.

The Sea 2 Sea challenge is equivalent in distance to crossing from one side of the South Island to the other, like from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Christchurch’s Sumner Beach on the East coast.

Working in pairs, each partner needs to complete the 240km Sea 2 Sea route in 40 days. Participants can run, swim, bike, walk, play sport or even wash the car by hand.

Sport Canterbury chief executive Selwyn Maister said this new `Push Play’ initiative was particularly aimed at people who worked in sedentary jobs.

``To meet the challenge each partner needs to do 30 minutes of activity for each day of the 40 days.

``The idea of running or walking the 240km distance from the West to East coast of the Mainland is beyond most of us but it can be achieved by doing just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day with a buddy for 40 days,’’ he said.

Sea 2 Sea starts on Monday (September 27) and finishes November 5.

Many workplaces and leading Canterbury personalities have signed up to take part in the challenge representing up to 3000 employees.

Sport Canterbury said 70 percent of adults in the Christchurch / Westland region are physically active, compared with the national figure of 68 percent active.

Physical inactivity contributes to 2500 deaths per year in NZ, and is the biggest contributor to avoidable death.

``It’s been estimated that if there was a 10 percent increase in participation in physical activity, this would result in 600 fewer deaths per year,’’ Maister said.

``The health and quality of life of over 30 percent of New Zealanders is threatened due to physical inactivity which is why we are keen to promote this pilot Sea 2 Sea event.’’

ENDS

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