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DHB vs Smelter - Surf to City Challenge is On!

DHB vs Smelter - Surf to City Challenge is On!

Two of Southland's largest employers are going head to head in a battle to be the largest team at next year's Surf to City event and in support of their own staff embracing the Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) message.

Paul Hemburrow, General Manager of Tiwai Point’s New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited (NZAS) said that the Smelter had issued a challenge to Southland District Health Board (SDHB) to encourage strong staff participation at the Surf to City and to even up the score following their narrow loss to the DHB in 2006 during a staff winter flu vaccination challenge.

"The DHB only just won that challenge by one percent, so we've issued a new one to see who can get the largest team at the Surf to City," Mr Hemburrow said. “Getting staff involved in regular physical activity is one of our main objectives in becoming involved in this challenge,” he said.

SDHB Interim Deputy CEO, Lexie O'Shea said the DHB was welcoming the challenge and already looking forward to the final tally at the finish line.

"We love a good challenge and the battle to beat the Smelter again will be a great motivator for as many staff possible to walk, run or cycle their way to the finish line as part of the DHB team," Mrs O'Shea said.

Mrs O'Shea said that the Surf to City battle was an appropriate choice as both organisations were keen supporters of the Healthy Eating Healthy Action message and were also involved with the Southland HEHA Network.

The great thing about the Surf to City is that it gets everybody moving. Whether people participate to improve their personal running times, to enjoy a good walk with their colleagues, or as an opportunity to dust off the bike in the garage, it’s all about getting out active and giving it a go."

NZAS employs 800 staff and Southland DHB employs 1400 staff, but with staff at both organisations working the night shift before the event and the day shift during the event, not all staff will be able to participate at the Surf to City. The largest team at the event will therefore be measured by the final percentage of staff participating, based on total staff numbers less those working the shifts around the Surf to City.

The 2008 Surf to City will be the first year that the Smelter has had a team entered, however this will be the third year the DHB has participated, including their record 173 DHB staff in the 2006 event.

"This will be a close battle and we are looking forward to seeing hundreds of Smelter and DHB staff at the Surf to City on 10 February next year,” Mr Hemburrow said.


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