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50,000 in sports grants awarded at NZ's healthiest schools

Former All Black Cory Jane has helped give out some of $50,000 in sports grants awarded to schools today to mark the end of the six-week New Zealand’s Healthiest Schools Challenge.

The Challenge was supported by AIA and Sovereign.

Pegasus Bay School near Christchurch will receive a $10,000 sports grant. Another four schools around New Zealand – Miramar North School, Beachlands School, Hingaia Peninsula School, and Chelsea Primary School will each receive $5000 in grants; another 20 schools will receive $1000 grants.

The Principal of Pegasus Bay School, Roger Hornblow, says their $10,000 grant will help their students maintain their activity levels beyond the end of the Healthiest Schools Challenge.

“We plan to spend the sports grant on outside sports equipment for the Junior Syndicate as they were the ones who took part in the Challenge. We have had a ‘wish list’ for this area for some time now and it is wonderful to finally be able to purchase the equipment.

“We are blown away to have won a $10,000 sports grant from AIA and Sovereign - thank you so much! Our tamariki were thrilled to take part in the Challenge, and really enjoyed seeing how many steps they'd done each day - they actually got quite competitive about it,” says Roger Hornblow.

Cory Jane says a highlight for him was seeing the excitement created by the Challenge.

“Being a father of four, and a former professional athlete, I know how important it is for children to think about health and wellness from an early age, and what a great advantage in life good health and wellness will give you.”

Nick Stanhope, Chief Executive Officer AIA New Zealand, helped present Hingaia Peninsula School’s $5000 grant this morning.

Mr Stanhope says that while the Challenge is meant to be fun, it is also hoped that it will be of significant benefit to the participants’ lives.

“Research shows that healthy habits developed before a child turns 10 are far more likely to last a lifetime.”

“AIA and Sovereign have a shared vision of making New Zealand one of the healthiest and best-protected nations in the world.

“Therefore the Healthiest Schools Challenge is a perfect fit for the two companies – which are currently joining together to be supporting. The Challenge encourages children to think about health and wellness in ways that fit with their preferences, abilities, and lives; we hope that the lessons children have learnt during the Challenge will stay with them the rest of their lives” Nick Stanhope says.

A total of 55,000 children took part in the Challenge, from more than 500 schools around the country. Many were joined by friends and family members who took part in the Supporters’ Challenge.

During the Challenge, participants were given fun tasks and simple tips on how to build healthy habits into their daily lives, as well as family routines, and classrooms.

Topics included how to fit more activity into each day, healthy eating, limiting screen time, and sun safety.

Children received tips as their customised avatars progressed through a virtual tour of some of the world’s greatest sights, accompanied by digital versions of Cory Jane and fellow Challenge Ambassador and former Black Stick Gemma McCaw.

The Challenge finished last Friday, November 23.

The full list of the schools that will receive sports grants is on the New Zealand’s Healthiest Schools Challenge blog, which can be found at https://nzhealthiestschools.blog/schools/ .


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