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Thousands Getting Active for Push Play Nation

Thousands Getting Active for Push Play Nation

200,000-plus activity diaries distributed throughout New Zealand

New Zealanders got up and active during Push Play Nation 2007, responding to SPARC’s (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) call to pick up one of the more than 200,000 activity diaries distributed throughout the country during the first few weeks of Push Play Nation.

“All of the Push Play activity diaries we distributed were gone after the first few weeks of Push Play Nation,” said Deb Hurdle, SPARC’s Push Play manager. “It was very encouraging to see New Zealanders respond to the call to get more active, more often. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”

Amid mounting evidence to support the case that physical activity is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle, SPARC kicked off this year’s Push Play Nation campaign in September with easy-to-follow activity programmes from well known New Zealand personalities. The seven-week promotion concludes with Push Play Day on Friday, 2 November.

Maggie Barry promoted a walking programme; Petra Bagust a ‘Family Fit’ routine; Robbie Magasiva a running routine; Tawera Nikau, his own fitness ‘Game Plan’ and Mike Chunn a ‘Workplace Workout.’

The programmes were included in a free 12-month activity diary available from Rebel Sport, Countdown supermarkets or Avanti dealers nationwide, or downloadable from the SPARC website.

The activity diaries allowed participants to create a physical activity programme to align with their needs and abilities. Activity diaries included a green and white wristband for participants to wear during the seven weeks of Push Play Nation. Spot prizes were awarded to individuals seen wearing their wristbands.

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“The Push Play message is all about having fun while you get active, and working physical activity into your everyday life,” said SPARC Push Play Manager, Deb Hurdle. “This year, we wanted to make it as simple as possible for New Zealanders to establish a long-term habit of physical activity by Pushing Play in a way that is both fun and rewarding.”

Push Play Nation is part of SPARC’s long-term Push Play campaign to get New Zealanders up and active. In 2005, SPARC launched the successful Activator wheel – an activity tool designed for people who wanted to get active, but didn’t know where to start.

“Push Play Nation built on from the Activator campaign and went one step further by giving New Zealanders ideas on how to be active for a whole month,” said Hurdle. “The 12-month diary gives people a real opportunity to track their progress and make a real commitment to be active.”

SPARC’s last national survey (2001-2002) showed 32% (or 233,000) young people and 32% (or 878,000) adults were insufficiently active to gain health benefits at that time, completing either no physical activity at all a week or less than 2.5 hours.

Adults are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity at least five days per week, “which means brisk walking, rather than walking at window shopping pace,” said Hurdle. “And with daylight savings and summer just around the corner, we’re encouraging New Zealanders to keep up their activity levels in the months ahead.”

SPARC is the Crown entity responsible for promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand. For more details and ideas on keeping physically active, visit


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