Sport Bay of Plenty

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Ōpōtiki Power of Play Huddle kick-starts conversations around the importance of play

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Healthy Families East Cape are delighted to be working alongside Sport Bay of Plenty and Sport New Zealand as part of a Sport New Zealand national project, gathering valuable insights from our community to better understand the perceptions and experiences of play in Ōpōtiki, and the wider Bay of Plenty rohe.

Four Power of Play huddles were held across the Bay of Plenty region, with the organizations working together collaboratively to gather local perceptions and experiences of play from sector stakeholders, parents and tamari

Children need time, space and permission to play. However, many tamariki aren’t having the same playful upbringing enjoyed by previous generations, with one in ten Aotearoa children classified as obese.

The insights gathered will support the process of establishing a more strategic approach to play and spark a conversation around the importance of play for the wellbeing and positive development of our tamariki.

Hearing from the Ōpōtiki district community was crucial for Sport Bay of Plenty’s Regional Play Systems Lead, Steph Reichardt, who worked closely with Healthy Families East Cape Systems Innovator, Hannah Griffin, to ensure the community’s voice was included in the Power of Play Huddles.

Power of Play huddles have been happening all over the Bay of Plenty

“It's been awesome to have this collaborative working opportunity and I look forward to many more,” says Steph.

Steph was able to fundamentally curate the Power of Play huddles, alongside Healthy Families East Cape for Ōpōtiki, ensuring a diverse community was involved and ensuring participants were entering a space where they felt safe and secure to contribute and participate in the process.

Adding brawn to the power of play huddles are the insights gathered by Healthy Families East Cape alongside Ōpōtiki Plays collective from community and tamariki over the coming months.

Healthy Families East Cape Systems Innovator Hannah Griffin was at the recent COVID-19 vaccination event at the Ford Street Block Party held by Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust and the Ōpōtiki Our Way collective, and will be working with Sport New Zealand to utilize tamariki and parent insights gathered here to ensure community voice is prioritized in the Power of Play huddle report.

“The Ford Street event was a great success and whānau were very passionate in sharing their stories of play,” said Healthy Families East Cape Systems Innovator Hannah Griffin.

“I’ll also be heading to Wellington later this week to work with Sports New Zealand to complete the Power of Play huddle report, and am excited to ensure that the voices of Ōpōtiki and our Bay of Plenty communities are front and centre.”

The insights and stories that continue to be shared by Ōpōtiki sector stakeholders, parents, whānau and tamariki have helped shape the understanding of the relationship that Ōpōtiki play stakeholders have with play and play settings in the region.

The approach and findings of the Power of Play huddles have opened the door for the possibility of community-level approaches to co-designing and co-producing play experiences in Ōpōtiki.

Sport Bay of Plenty and Healthy Families East Cape continue to work with community, tamariki and sector stakeholders to elevate lived experience, and explore how the ideas generated through a co-design process might be made a reality.


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