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Sport Wellington Launches New Strategy And Identity

Physical inactivity costs the Wellington region at least $141m per year on average. Across the region, two in four adults and 42% of young people are not doing enough physical activity, as per the Ministry of Health’s physical activity guidelines.

To combat this, Sport Wellington, the independent body for physical activity in the greater Wellington region, recently launched a new 12-year strategy which focuses on improving the wellbeing of communities across the region through physical activity and the importance of taking an equitable and holistic approach in doing so. They have also announced a new name and identity which better aligns with this focus and the purpose expressed in their Charitable Trust deed.

The new name, Nuku Ora, represents activity, movement, life, and joy.

“Because our name had been Sport Wellington for so long, many of our stakeholders, partners and communities have perceived our focus, indeed our sole focus, to be sport,” says Nuku Ora CEO Phil Gibbons. “Sport is important to the wellbeing of the region and will remain a key component of our work; but it’s not the answer for everyone. Our communities are reflecting to us that they need more than just sport if everyone is going to be physically active; they are looking for opportunities through active recreation, active transport, play and sport. We needed a new strategy and name that reflect this.”

Nuku Ora operates across the greater Wellington region, working from Wellington City north to Ōtaki and across to Eketāhuna. The organisation works across physical activity, health, and education to influence regional planning and development; collect physical activity insights and data; deliver health and wellbeing, coaching, leadership, and movement-based programmes; and to support and fund the delivery of community-based physical activity opportunities across the region.

“Our communities have told us that things are changing for them and we recognise that the consequences of not changing with them are increasing” Gibbons says. “We have seen time and time again the incredible value that being active offers; for individuals, for whanau, for communities, and for our region; but we know that not everyone has equitable access to these opportunities. Because of this, many people are missing out on the benefits being physically active provides.

Our new strategy and brand require us to take a more inclusive approach so that we, with the help of our partners, can better support communities across our region.”

Environmental changes that have influenced this new direction for Nuku Ora include changes in how people spend their ‘leisure time’, an increasing emphasis on mental wellbeing, changing population demographics, and the government’s focus on wellbeing focus.

“I’d like to congratulate Nuku Ora on your new identity and its representation of your new whakataukī,” says Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation. “Nuku Ora widens the lens from just sport and recognises the various different ways that individuals, whanau and communities choose to be active, as well as the importance of creating more equitable opportunities for all Wellington communities to be active, healthy and happy. This is an important step on the journey to meeting the needs of all in our community to be active and healthy. Kia kaha!”

Find out more about Nuku Ora and the services they provide at www.nukuora.org.nz. Their website includes a Wellbeing Hub with healthy recipes and an activity directory; fundamental movement skill development resources for parents and schools; a host of strength and balance exercises you can do at home; funding opportunities and support for clubs and community organisations; as well as the latest news and updates from the physical activity sector around the region.

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