This ANZAC Day, Pasifika Futures sponsored the Wellington Tongan Council Sport Day, targeting youth in Wellington.
The Council is promoting family wellbeing and the importance of staying fit and healthy from a young age.
The organiser of the event Violani ‘Ilolahia Wills says that it offers Tongan children and their parents an amazing health resource, providing information about staying fit, eating right and general wellbeing.
“Sports plays a huge role in our Tongan community and families. Many play rugby, netball, coach, referee and most parents play the role of volunteers and fans. Sports is engrained in our communities and by default contributes to health issues,” says Mrs Wills.
“Most families dedicated their entire weekend to their children’s sporting activities and it is tough when they turn to fast-food and sugary drinks after a long day out. Our sports day promotes health messages about eating right, exercising regularly and making the occasion a fun filled family activity.”
“We target young children with the aim of getting parents involved.”
“We also help to shift perceptions about not asking questions or seeking help, to talking about health issues openly and actively seeking help.”
“The Sports Day is part of our campaign to work with organisations like Pasifika Futures, the Tongan Nurses Association to run events such as this for health promotion to these children and their parents.”
There was also talk about dental hygiene and obesity on the day.
“We all know that Pacific people are overrepresented when it comes to health problems. We hope that our cause will be a vehicle to help make a difference to our young children and our Tongan community in the Capital.”
“We want health messages to be upheld by our families and that they seek help and get support and treatment if there is a problem.”
“We are excited that the Pasifika Futures Whānau Ora programme has funded our event and are delighted to use our position of influence for our Tongan community, and especially young children to make a real difference.”