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Virtual’ Adventure Takes Borders Away For Kiwi Kids

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is encouraging teachers to enrol their primary school students in a ‘virtual adventure’ next term that will take them around the world while encouraging healthier eating and exercise habits.

Up to 20,000 Kiwi kids can take part in the 2020 Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure which features national sporting heroes and ASICS Ambassadors, Ardie Savea, Kane Williamson, Ameliaranne Ekinasio and Samantha Charlton in avatar form. Registrations are already pouring in and there are only 5000 spots left before it kicks off in Term 4.

With Zespri’s support, the free event has been created by Kim Harvey – Founder of the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust. As a health, fitness and wellbeing expert, she wants to inspire and motivate future generations to live an active lifestyle and develop healthy habits.

“In the six-week challenge, students are taken on a virtual journey around the globe. They earn points in the real world to move their team by tracking their daily activity and healthy behaviour, like eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, drinking water, getting enough sleep and not spending too much time on screens,” she explains.

“The programme encourages kids to also think about sustainability and how healthy habits can contribute to a healthier environment. Eating more fruit and vegetables could reduce packaging, and by walking or biking as often as possible, they’ll create less pollution.”

$20,000 worth of prizes from Zespri and ASICS are up for grabs, while vegetable seed packets courtesy of 5+ A Day and South Pacific Seeds will be distributed to all participants along with a few free pedometers per classroom.

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust Project Manager Carmel Ireland is backing the innovative idea to help tamariki eat well, be physically active, get enough sleep and learn about other countries and cultures at a time when international travel is impossible.

“This programme certainly fits well with the goals of the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust to encourage tamariki to eat five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily for good health. Kids get to create their own avatar and will enjoy seeing themselves ‘in’ the game, reaping rewards when they eat healthy food or do some exercise.”

Zespri is the principal partner of the Virtual Adventure and is also a supporter of the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust. Ireland says everyone is working towards the same goal of helping the younger generation to lead healthier lives.

“Research has shown that eating nutritious foods and moving your body regularly can change the course of a young person’s life, so we would love all New Zealand teachers to check out the 2020 Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure and sign their students up.”

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is set to make a real difference to the lives of thousands of young New Zealanders and their families.

“We’re proud to support the adventure, which also marks our first nationwide community investment programme and is part of our efforts to support our communities and to help them thrive. The adventure will help teach children and their families important habits like eating well, taking care of our environment and exercising more. These are values at the core of Zespri’s identity and we’re excited about the benefits this adventure will bring Kiwi kids nationwide.”

The programme will run for six weeks in Term 4 (October 20th). Schools and teachers can register their interest by visiting, or by emailing

About 5+ A Day

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust was established in 2007 for the benefit of all Kiwis, especially children. The Trust is committed to increasing the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables for better health in all New Zealanders. We encourage all Kiwis to eat five or more servings of colourful, fresh fruit and vegetables every day for good health. Our key messages are in line with our Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation’s recommendations. The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is funded by voluntary contributions from New Zealand’s pan produce industry.

About Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is Zespri’s first nationwide sponsorship initiative. It is designed to inspire, motivate and educate 20,000 kiwi kids and their whānau to develop healthy habits for a lifetime of physical and mental health. Children are encouraged to take up daily healthy habits in the real world in order to gain points as a team and move their classroom around the Virtual Adventure course, visiting places like Japan, Peru and Italy. Led by inspirational ASICS Ambassadors Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Kane Williamson and Samantha Charlton, they’ll help teach participants about each city they visit, and share healthy tips.

About Zespri

With global operating revenue of NZ$3.36 billion in 2019/20, Zespri is one of the world's most successful horticulture marketing companies and the Zespri brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, we are 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employ over 600 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas. On behalf of our 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold, Zespri Sweet Green and Zespri Red Kiwifruit.

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