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Changing lives, one step at a time.

We are in the midst of an inactivity crisis as increasingly screen time replaces outdoor play, recreation and sport.


In Aotearoa the majority of our children aren't getting the minimum recommended amount of daily activity and too many have diets that are high in ultra-processed foods. This has dramatic consequences with research showing not only do inactive children pay the price in terms of lower school performance and poorer physical and mental health, they can set up long term patterns of inactivity and poor nutrition leading to adverse health consequences throughout their lifetime.


Our mission is to inspire a generation to love being active and making healthy food choices because of how good it makes them feel, ensuring they experience the numerous benefits it brings to their holistic development.


Designed with input from both teachers and students, our program seamlessly integrates into primary and intermediate schools with a holistic approach to learning that combines an engaging and interactive online interface, education, motivation and encouragement from some of Aotearoa's most respected sporting stars along with a dose of fun, teamwork, and friendly competition.

Children listening to our founder Kim Harvey
Children jogging at camera

Tamariki were more positive about moving;

"I noticed an increase in positivity about being active. Children were easier to engage in fitness and a range of activities." - Teacher, Otane School, Hawkes Bay

challegecoverschools_w_avatars (1).png

The next event is in Term 3, 2024

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure logo

By combining an engaging online interface, motivation and encouragement from some of Aotearoa's most respected sporting stars along with a dose of fun, teamwork, and friendly competition, the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is having a positive effect on the lives of children across the country with over 150,000 children taking part to date.

To personalise their experience, students build their own unique avatars and then embark on a virtual tourism adventure from Madagascar to New York.  To earn points that contribute to moving their class around the virtual course they increase their daily steps and time spent being active, and also gain bonus distance by recording other healthy behaviours like; ​

  • eating fruit and veges,

  • choosing water as their main drink,

  • reducing unhealthy snack food,

  • sleeping well,

  • minimising leisure screen time.

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure

As their class reaches each destination, they are rewarded with a video featuring their unique avatars exploring the location they are "visiting“ and learning from and interacting with our inspiring ASICS Ambassadors; Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Kane Williamson.


These learning based rewards help create intrinsic motivation, further assisting the development of lifelong skills and habits.

Rather than just a few lessons, the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure runs over 5 weeks, which gives enough time for children to immerse themselves in the fun learning elements and most importantly take action in the real world, so they experience first-hand the positive feeling of the impact of all their small daily actions combined. 

To further embed the behaviours, the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is supported throughout the year, with "check-ins", mini-challenges and loads of activities to do during class breaks and at home with whanau, adding to the impact and ripple effect into the wider community.

The pilot of the activity challenge was evaluated by the University of New South Wales and found;

  • The program had a positive impact on the physical activity of students during the Challenge period, 

  • Teachers reported that the Challenge was a great opportunity to motivate students to become more physically active,

  • Doing more physical activities, becoming fit and feeling healthier were identified by the students themselves as some of the things they liked the best about the Challenge.

Teachers also noted improved attendance and the event facilitated positive social behaviours by promoting teamwork and encouraging student relationships and we see these themes coming through in feedback from students, teachers and whanau participating in the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure.

In addition, teachers and whanau report that they notice that increased activity levels continue after the event.

The ripple effect of the program creates healthier habits at home.......

"Me and my family continue to do lots of little challenges together at home. We try and see who makes the healthier lunch, who drinks the most water and who does the most steps in a day.  It is really funny because my mum and dad are so competitive between them. I love it when we play more games together to increase our steps."  


- Mackenzie, Pukete School

Key Details

Entry in the Zespri Young and Healthy

Virtual Adventure is FREE for schools / kura

in Aotearoa / New Zealand.

The event will run in Term 3 from 12 Aug - 16th Sept (Week 4-8)

You'll receive a Class Pack before it starts containing simple pedometers for

all students if you wish, a wall map and a few surprises too!

By participating in the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, you could win
some great prizes too; 

  • a Super Fun Day at your school for everyone to enjoy

  • a new pair of ASICS sport shoes for the whole class (several to be won)

  • and loads of other goodies

In Term 2, 3 or 4 we can visit your class or whole school to;

  • run our fun "check-in's", or;

  • an interactive session on any of the healthy topics included in the program e.g drinking plenty of water, getting a good night of sleep, or why being active is SO important for every single one of us, no matter whether we play sport or not, or;

  • to show you how to get the best from participating in the program, and;

  • to help you get whanau involved.

Virtual Adventure Avatars crossing a street
An avatar and Ardie Savea in the miner's huts in Arrowtown

Our Virtual Coaches

We are so grateful to have our inspiring ASICS Ambassadors Ardie Savea, Kane Williamson and Ameliaranne Ekenasio are our virtual coaches, leading classes through the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure.   They provide support, encouragement and education. Whenever possible we visit participating schools so tamariki can meet our sporting superstars in person. 

Ardie Savea
Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson visiting a school
Ameliaranne Ekenasio speaking to children
Ameliaranne Ekenasio
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Young & Healthy Trust 2019 | Zespri Younf & Healthy Virtual Adventure

​The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure uses a unique digital platform to engage tamariki in a fun way, inspiring and encouraging them to make healthy choices.


Phone: +64 275760133

Registered Charity: 12345-67

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