PART of being a Tūranga Health team member is about being a great role model.
Waldo Horomia knew that being a sturdy prop helped him on the rugby field, but it wasn't doing him a lot of good in other areas of his life.
“When I finished playing rugby about three years ago I weighed 120kg so I was a sitting duck for health problems like chronic gout or high blood pressure.”
This year Waldo joined Tūranga Health as a member of the CAYAD (Community Action on Youth and Drugs) team.
“I was already working with youth and was mindful that they were in need of role models, and so I was going to have to live up to that.”
Now, having already lost a quarter of his body weight, Waldo (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti) says he’s “walking the talk” and in better shape for the demands of the Tūranga Health job.
“Much of our work involves running programmes to help young people make better choices around the use of drugs or alcohol so it's pretty demanding,” he says.
“We work in this space because we're all committed to helping make change for our rangatahi.”
While physical activity is known to be good for youth, Waldo says the old-school rugby culture he was involved in has a lot to answer for. “There was just too much alcohol and unsafe behaviour like drink-driving and that caused a lot of grief for whānau. That's really how I came to this work. Our people deserve better.”
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