Schools encouraged to promote active lifestyles

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Waikato schools are among those invited to participate in the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge; using leading New Zealand athletes to inspire, motivate and educate primary school children and their parents to lead healthier lives.

International rugby winger Cory Jane is getting behind the Challenge, launched by AIA Insurance New Zealand. The five-week programme aims to inspire 15,000 primary school children to be active and eat well – all while having fun and learning.

As part of the programme, each child receives a free pedometer to count the number of steps they take every day; each child also gets to create their own unique avatar. The programme records the daily average steps of each class, giving them the opportunity to win prizes, including AIA sports grants and Huawei tablets for their school.

The children’s journey will be captured in a virtual online world showing the progress of their avatars as they work together to unlock new destinations. As children complete each leg, they’re shown an animated video of their avatar exploring each new place with Cory and other NZ sporting stars. They learn about the history and culture of the countries they ‘visit’, and get health tips along the way around.

“Learning about the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet, and being supported to achieve this, will set children on the right path. I’m excited to lend my support to this programme which aims to seed these important messages at an early age,” says Cory.

“The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge rolls exercise and education into one fun programme; it’s a great way to motivate kids. Wearing a pedometer will give them another reason to get moving and rack up some clicks.”

Parents can become involved too by getting active with their kids, says Cory, father to four young children.
Parents are encouraged to use the website or download the challenge app and track their own steps and get active as a family. The more parents involved with each participating class, the more chances the class has to win great prizes. And parents can also win prizes as well.

“We want to encourage Kiwi primary school kids and their families to improve their general health and wellness,” says AIA New Zealand head of marketing and communications David Savidan.

“The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge harnesses digital technology, which is often seen as a barrier to a healthy lifestyle.”

AIA’s recent Healthy Living Index concluded that unless there is a concerted effort by parents and schools to promote exercise and restrict screen time, there will be significant challenges to the younger generation leading healthier lives.

“The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge is part of our aim to improve health outcomes for every Kiwi, and what better place to start than with our kids,” says Mr Savidan.

The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge is based on a programme piloted in Australia, where teachers noted that participating students were more motivated to be physically active while the programme was underway.

Registrations for the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge are now open, but places are limited. The programme will get underway on October 26.


  • Registrations for the free AIA Healthy Kids Challenge are open at www.healthykids.kiwi
  • Entries are limited to the first 15,000 primary school students and each student receives a free pedometer, and can create their own individual avatar
  • Parents can enter too, monitoring their activity with their smart phone via the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge  App and logging activity online
  • Sporting and equipment grants and 50 Huawei Tablets to be won
  • The five-week programme begins on October 26
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