As part of the health and well-being programme, each child receives a free pedometer to count the number of steps they take every day; each child also gets to create their own unique avatar. The programme records each class’s daily average steps, giving them the opportunity to win prizes, including AIA sports grants and Huawei Tablets for their school.
The children’s journey will be captured in a virtual online world showing the progress of their avatars as they work together to unlock new destinations. As children complete each leg, they’re shown an animated video of their avatar exploring each new place with Cory and other NZ sporting stars. They learn about the history and culture of the countries they ‘visit’, and get health tips along the way around.
“Learning about the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet, and being supported to achieve this, will set children on the right path. I’m excited to lend my support to this programme which aims to seed these important messages at an early age,” says Cory. “The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge rolls exercise and education into one fun programme; it’s a great way to motivate kids. Wearing a pedometer will give them another reason to get moving and rack up some clicks.”
Parents can get involved too by getting active with their kids, says Cory, father to four young children. Parents are encouraged to use the website or download the challenge app and track their own steps and get active as a family. The more parents each participating class has involved, the more chances the class has to win great prizes. And parents get the chance to win prizes as well.
AIA New Zealand Head of Marketing and Communications, David Savidan, says: “We want to encourage Kiwi primary school kids and their families to improve their general health and wellness. The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge harnesses digital technology, which is often seen as a barrier to a healthy lifestyle.”
AIA’s recent Healthy Living Index concluded that unless there is a concerted effort by parents and schools to promote exercise and restrict screen time, there will be significant challenges to the younger generation leading healthier lives.
“The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge is part of our aim to improve health outcomes for every Kiwi, and what better place to start than with our kids,” says Mr Savidan.
The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge is based on a programme piloted in Australia. Teachers noted that participating students were more motivated to be physically active while the programme was underway. Some also noted that there were added benefits, including improved attendance and behaviour, better levels of teamwork, and enhanced learning opportunities with the programme’s integration into the school day.
Registrations for the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge are now open, but places are limited. The programme will get underway on October 26th.