The hotter months of the year are a prime period for events in the great outdoors, physical activity under the sun and fitness within the wonderful rohe we live in! To do these things that we at times take for granted, it means we need good quality sports shoes. But for many of our VLC whanau who love to partake in physical activity, sports shoes are something that they have gone without – many not even having owned a pair of sports shoes before.
Luckily, the VLC team for the past 5 weeks have been running a Sports Shoes Co-op allowing the whanau to finally be able to purchase their own pair of shoes from Rebel Sports! Now, we don’t know about you – but by the looks on these guys’ faces, we think this has been an awesome initiative! The Vanessa Lowndes Centre is about building confidence and preparing people with mental, physical or intellectual disabilities for employment.
Well done, whanau! We are incredibly proud of your achievements and can’t wait to see you wearing your new shoes at every opportunity! The VLC whanau have been hitting the Kaiti Hill Challenge – so make sure you stop and say “Kia ora!” on your way up the maunga…
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.”
LUKE Bradley has devoted his life to physical activity playing sport, studying it, and acting as a sports agent.
Now as a Tūranga Health kaiāwhina he gets to share those same opportunities with young people.
“My role is life skills coach which means I get to spend time with rangatahi at kōhunga and kura and help them develop things like fine motor skills and confidence around physical activity,” he says.
“It's a really great opportunity to help the young ones with skills they can take forward into their lives.”
Luke comes to Tūranga Health after a decade in Japan where, as well as teaching English, he ran a sports agency, helping New Zealand rugby players succeed in a foreign environment.
It was in Japan that his interest in physical activity for young people back home started to grow.
“I was looking at studies about how sport tended to drop off in young people after they left school and that's what really got me interested,” he says.
“There’s so much benefit to be gained in everything from physical fitness to developing leadership skills so supporting that is really rewarding work.”
On any given day Luke (Ngāti Porou/Ngāi Tahu) can be doing anything from working with pre-schoolers to organising the popular 4x4 Basketball League. And he still runs the sports agency.
“Being home means that as well as sharing some of the things I learned in Japan, I can get back in touch with my own culture, language, and people.”
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