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Families Get Active

Monday, January 11, 2016

Families Get Active

In just a few months, one Tauranga family has become healthier, fitter and happier thanks to a new programme promoting family health.

Siblings Layla Palmer, 9, Hineata Palmer, 8, and Kahurangi Ngatai, 11, have been working together to become more active under the Active Families programme, run by Sport Bay of Plenty.

To be referred to Active Families, a child had to be aged between 5 and 18 and have a body mass index (height to weight ratio) in the 95th percentile for their age. They attend weekly sessions to learn about health and nutrition and are also encouraged to take part in events and activities such as the Weet-Bix Tryathlon, which was held yesterday.

Since taking part, the family's calendar has become a list of sport, activities and recreation.

"During school time, we do ju jitsu on Monday and Wednesday, on Tuesday we have aquafit, on Sundays we have Tryathlon training," Layla said.

"In winter, we have netball training on Tuesday and Saturday. We've also been doing lots of swimming. We go for a swim at the beach most nights and we'll go more if we can. I go bike riding most days too."

The girls took part in yesterday's Weet-Bix Tryathlon and also participated in the Rotorua event in December.

Their training involved going to Memorial Park with others in the Active Families programme. They swam in the pool, ran around the field by the skate park and biked around the park - something Layla said was hard work.

Without the Active Families programme, Layla said she did not think she would have been able to complete one Tryathlon.

"I think it's a pretty big achievement."

How does all this activity make the girls feel? When asked that question, Layla needed only one answer - a big, smiling thumbs up.

"I do get tired, but I've done something fun so it's worth it."

Hineata said all the activity was tiring, but in a good way.

"It makes me tired, but good tired. "

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