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NZSTA supports moves to get kids active

5 October 2004

NZSTA supports moves to get kids active

The New Zealand School Trustees Association is behind the Government’s move to make Kiwi kids more active – but says more discussion is needed on how the new initiative will be resourced.

The comments follow the Government’s announcement of a new initiative aimed at encouraging primary school children to be more physically active. This will be achieved through a change in education regulations.

NZSTA President Chris Haines says boards are concerned with research that shows a decrease in physical activity among young people, along with the high rate of obesity among school-aged children.

“With almost one-third of our children classed as obese or overweight, the statistics do make for depressing reading. Increasing physical activity is one way to help curb this trend.

“Physical activity also has a positive impact on learning. We need our children to get the most out of life through being healthy, and of course then going on to become healthy adults.”

Chris Haines says NZSTA is looking forward to discussing the new initiative in more detail with the Government, in particular the issue of extra resources.

It is proposed that the increased physical activity may be staffed through the 10-hour classroom release time, negotiated as part of the new primary teachers’ employment agreement. However Chris Haines says it is not as simple as this.

“Schools may have already seen other areas where these hours can be used effectively.”

Chris Haines says the success of the programme is dependent on adequate resourcing, and boards will want this to be clearly outlined.

“Schools are already under pressure to make ends meet, and the last thing boards want is another initiative in which they have to find the time and resources to make it happen. If that is the case the whole effort of improving our children’s health could be on shaky ground.”

ENDS


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