Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Playcentre goes the extra mile for the kids

Playcentre goes the extra mile for the kids

This week 46 Playcentres in Christchurch and across Canterbury are taking tag to whole new level in what is undoubtedly The Greatest Game of Tag. This epic venture plots out the story of Playcentre, while celebrating community and kiwi spirit.

Participants are travelling 650 kms - some on foot, some on wheels, and some on water - and stopping at 46 Playcentres on the way for a play, refreshments, and to celebrate Playcentre.

Playcentre has been advocating play and supporting parents as first teachers for 76 years. This parent-led early learning service is unique to New Zealand: there is nothing quite like it in the rest of the world.

The latest research on brain development and learning all points in the same direction: children who play hard will study hard. We also know that children whose parents understand how children learn and play early on become lifelong advocates for their children’s education.

In spite of Playcentre’s long and rich history, there are still Kiwis who don’t know about it. The Canterbury Playcentre team decided to change that and raise the profile of Playcentre with The Greatest Game of Tag.

The campaign is steered by Anna Steel. ‘I was inspired by Mal Law’, explains Anna. ‘He covered a total of 1659 kms, climbing over 50 peaks in 50 days, while raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation’. Anna acknowledges that The Greatest Game of Tag is ‘ very bold and a little crazy, but Playcentre people are an adventurous lot!’

Playcentre is about community and The Greatest Game of Tag has pulled many communities together, playing and supporting one another along the way. A wonderful example of this is Total Traffic Management, who have donated their time and resources to keep the walkers, runners and bikers safe on the road. ‘We could never have pulled this enormous event off without their generous support’, says Anna.

A beautiful korowai is accompanying Playcentre whānau along the journey. Crafted by Jacqui Wadsworth, a Kaikoura Playcentre parent, and blessed by Brett Cowan from Ngai Tahu, the korowai is going from Playcentre to Playcentre, touching the shoulders of Playcentre whānau along the way. It will eventually find its way to Waiau Playcentre, as a symbol of aroha for the families after they lost their building in the 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake of November last year.

The Playcentre team also decided to use this opportunity to pay it forward and are fundraising for Variety, the charity for children. Variety support the 1 in 3 Kiwi kids who go without the basic essentials, such as warm bedding, school uniforms and stationery. They help those children who miss out on taking part in after-school activities, bike riding with friends, or going on school camps with the rest of their class.

The Greatest Game of Tag will finish at 12.00pm on Saturday 18 March with a sausage sizzle and ice cream at Akaroa Playcentre. Everyone is invited!

The Total Traffic Management crew can be found on and at 187A Ohoka Road, Kaiapoi, New Zealand.

You can also donate to Variety here:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

“Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>


Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online
  • Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news