The successful Sport Waikato school programme Project Energize is about to begin trials in Northland and Franklin areas which will see a number of schools involved.
Since its inception eight years ago, Project Energize has had substantial positive results and success. The programme is funded by the Waikato District Health Board with the pilots in both Northland and Franklin districts creating partnerships with Sport Northland, the Northland DHB, Counties Manukau Sport, Waikato DHB and Sport Waikato.
Energize has been a philosophy and process rather than a set programme. It is the recruitment, induction, management, resourcing and ongoing development of the team of Energizers. Focusing on how the team interacts with children, teachers and school communities. ‘Evolution not revolution’ has been a catch phrase over the years; the ‘philosophy’ is one of helping schools to help themselves. Through education and guidance the Waikato schools have embraced new healthy eating habits and exercise, thus creating positive healthy impact with children at home.
Project Energize Project Manager Stephanie McLennan believes the positive results which were achieved in the Waikato will be replicated in the new districts.
“Recent research results had more than 5000 primary school children aged 6 to 11 years measured and compared to ‘unEnergized’ Waikato children. The children weighed less, their waists measured less and the proportion of children with obesity and overweight was less. On average, the children were able to run 550 metres, 20 seconds faster than children in other parts of New Zealand. We’ll be collecting data throughout the trials to see if the programme can make a difference to children in the new areas”, Stephanie said.
The two year trial of Northland and Franklin may just be the beginning as Sport Waikato is in talks with a number of other areas who would like clusters of schools to participate in Project Energize.
For further information, contact:
Stephanie McLennan, Sport Waikato Project Energize Project Manager, 07 858 5388 or 027 419 0068 or email [email protected]
Robbie Walker, Sport Waikato Communications Coordinator, 07 858 5388 or 021 240 8157 or email [email protected]