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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: UnderTow Media

Starting today, 20,000 children across New Zealand are embarking on the five-week Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, which promotes the importance of eating well, exercising and taking care of the environment.

A whopping 760 classrooms from across 250 primary and intermediate schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill will earn points for simple healthy habits like drinking more water, eating fruit and vegetables and minimising screen time, which will help them travel virtually to eleven different locations across the globe with their classmates.

Kim Harvey, founder of the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust and Virtual Adventure, is delighted to kick off the adventure and help share the foundations of good health with this year’s participants.

“The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is designed to support children to create their best health and wellbeing every day, and influence their families to get involved too,” says Ms Harvey.

“Research shows us the foundations of good health are formed in the first 10 years of a child’s life, so it’s really important we find ways to engage children so they understand and notice for themselves what it feels like when they make healthy choices.”

Support from a variety of like-minded organisations like principal sponsor Zespri and global lifestyle brand ASICS means all 20,000 children can participate free of charge. Participants will also be encouraged throughout the adventure by ASICS Ambassadors Ardie Savea, Kane Williamson, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Samantha Charlton.

This week, ASICS New Zealand will be delivering new shoes for each child, to two deserving classes in Wellington and Auckland as part of their Fit You Out competition. There may even be a surprise appearance from one of the ASICS’s Ambassadors.

“ASICS is really excited to be involved in the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, given it aligns so well with our desire to help New Zealanders discover a world of movement,” says ASICS New Zealand’s Jason Niles.

“We’re really looking forward to surprising children with their new ASICS shoes, which we know will support their efforts during the adventure.”

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says Zespri is proud to support the adventure and the benefits it’s set to bring to children and their families nationwide.

“The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is Zespri’s first nationwide community investment programme and we’re thrilled to help encourage 20,000 children to look after their physical and mental health and wellbeing for life,” says Mr Mathieson.

“It encourages and empowers our youngest New Zealanders to embrace their health and wellbeing and introduces important issues like sustainability and biosecurity, which are critical to our industry and reflect values that are at the core of Zespri’s identity.

“The adventure reflects our purpose to help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We know that as our industry grows, so too must the contributions we make, and the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual adventure helps us to play our part in supporting our communities.

“It’s also important that we continually invest in the skills, leadership and wellbeing of our next generation, and promote the importance of looking after our people and the land, and we think the adventure provides a fun and engaging platform to get kids thinking about healthy eating and healthy action.

“We’re really excited for the launch of this year’s adventure, and we hope all participants enjoy their virtual journey with their classmates – and of course, their avatars.”

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure begins on Tuesday 20 October, and concludes Tuesday 24 November.

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is designed to inspire, teach and encourage Kiwi kids and their whānau to develop healthy habits for a lifetime of good 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 New Zealand. Led by inspirational ASICS Ambassadors Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Kane Williamson and Samantha Charlton, they’ll help teach participants about each place they visit, and share healthy tips along the way.

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.

MIL OSI