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Waikato On A Roll In Nationwide Activity Challenge

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Waikato On A Roll In Nationwide Activity Challenge

Waikato is showing the rest of the country how to get active with the highest number of registrations per capita to date in the race to be New Zealand's most active region.

Riding high off last weekend's Air New Zealand Cup final win, Waikato is putting itself on the map again with 1.96% of its residents taking part in SPARC's (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) month long activity challenge.

Just a week and a half out from the end of Push Play Nation - a month dedicated to getting Kiwis up and active - Waikato has broken away from the rest of the pack, ahead of Manawatu with 1.83% residents joined up and Gisborne on 1.51%.

Close behind is Waitomo (1.29%), Whakatane (1.12%) and Opotiki (1.01%).

Five weeks ago SPARC issued a challenge to mayors to get their regions moving in a bid to find New Zealand's most active region. Kiwis can register on-line at www.sparc.org.nz or call 0800 ACTIVE (228 483).

Over the month, SPARC is closely monitoring which regions have the highest number of residents signing up to Push Play Nation - and where the couch potatoes are hiding.

So far, 23,319 people have joined up to Push Play Nation.

"This is a fantastic achievement," says SPARC's Manager, Push Play, Deb Hurdle.

"We're so excited that the Push Play message is really getting out there. It's fantastic news that Waikato is doing so well, but we're thrilled that every region in the country is behind the challenge."

SPARC will be providing a weekly update on how each region is taking up the challenge to be active - up until SPARC's sixth annual Push Play Day on November 3rd.

Push Play Nation is part of SPARC's long-term Push Play campaign to get New Zealanders up and active. Last year, SPARC launched the successful Activator wheel - an activity tool designed for people who wanted to get active, but didn't know where to start.

SPARC's last national survey (2001-2002) showed 32% (or 233,000) young people and 32% (or 878,000) adults were insufficiently active to gain health benefits at that time, completing either no physical activity at all a week or less than 2.5 hours.

ENDS


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