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Olympian medallists launch Sea 2 Sea 240km event

Olympians, gold medallists launch Sea 2 Sea 240km mainland challenge event

Olympians and gold medallists launched Sport Canterbury’s 240km Sea 2 Sea challenge at Sumner Beach yesterday.

The Sea 2 Sea event is equivalent in distance to crossing from one side of the South Island to the other. It is the creation of Sport Canterbury which is seeking to motivate people into becoming physically more active.

Olympians and gold medallists Val Young, Ross Gillespie, Dick Tayler, Selwyn Maister and Brett Naylor launched the challenge at the beach yesterday.

Many prominent Cantabrians, leading businesses, companies organisations and schools are among the thousands taking part. The event finishes on November 5.

Working in pairs, each partner is seeking to complete the 240km Sea 2 Sea 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.

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.’’

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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