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SPARC Celebrates Fifth Annual Push Play Day

Friday 4 November 2005

SPARC Celebrates Fifth Annual Push Play Day

Trevor Mallard was pushing play all morning
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Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) celebrates its fifth annual Push Play Day today and is sending a message to all Kiwis to "Keep It Up".

Push Play Day is part of SPARC's long-term Push Play campaign to get New Zealanders up and active.

New figures released today show 62% of Kiwis have been physically active for six months or more - up from 51% last December. The data from a continuous monitor of New Zealanders' physical activity levels run by AC Nielsen, also reveals an increase in Kiwis' activity levels following the launch of SPARC's Activator campaign.

The figures come in the same week as a report showing New Zealanders are more active than their trans-Tasman rivals was released.

"We're very excited that the Push Play message is being heard by many more New Zealanders than five years ago," says SPARC's General Manager of Participation, Deb Hurdle.

"The call this year is to 'Keep It Up!'. There's still work to do. It's fantastic that we're more active than our Australian neighbours, but our goal should be to become the most active nation in the world."

Bernice Mene gets involved and shares a joke with Trevor Mallard
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Every New Zealand household has also received a green Push Play balloon that can be displayed outside their home to symbolise their intention to get active on Push Play Day.

SPARC has declared Push Play Day an internal email-free day and is encouraging other organisations to also 'walk an email' rather than sit at their desks. According to recent research in the UK, millions of hours of physical activity are lost each week due to society's dependency on email.

SPARC is also encouraging Wellingtonians to get aboard the 'walking buses', featuring local celebrities, which hit the streets of the Capital early Friday morning.

"There are so many ways to get physically active," Deb Hurdle says.

"The Push Play message is all about having fun while you exercise."

Jump aboard the walking bus – one of the few forms of transport not affected by petrol price rises
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A number of organisations around the country have arranged activities to celebrate Push Play Day, including the Push Play Kura Kaupapa Maori Fun Day in Rotorua and Canterbury's Sea2Sea Challenge.

ENDS


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