Our inspiring ASICS Ambassadors will lead you on your virtual adventure, providing healthy tips and motivation to help you live your healthiest life.
What is the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure?
It's an evidence-based program that inspires, motivates and encourages kiwi kids and their whanau to develop healthy habits for a lifetime of good physical and mental wellbeing.
As experts say the first 10 years are critical for children to develop a love of being active and healthy, the program is offered FREE to schools across New Zealand with over 40,000 children participating in 2018.
Led by our inspirational sporting ambassadors and using a little bit of technology to engage the iPad generation, participants build their own unique avatars and learn in a fun and engaging way about why their health is important and the choices they can make themselves to protect their health and wellbeing to feel the best that they can each and every day.
During the event participants track their real-life healthy behaviours like; moving more often, eating fruit and vege's, choosing water as their main drink, sleeping well and minimising leisure screen time. This earns points that move their class or support crew team around the global course to amazing places like Japan, Peru, India. Croatia and many more.
As their team reaches each destination, entrants are rewarded with a video featuring their unique avatar exploring the location they are "visiting“ and learn from and interact with our inspiring ambassadors. These learning based rewards help instil intrinsic motivation, further assisting the development of lifelong skills and habits.
Rather than just a few lessons, the virtual adventure runs over 5-6 weeks, giving time for participants to immerse themselves in the fun learning elements and most importantly take action in the real world, so they experience first-hand the feeling of being more active and healthier. The University of Sydney evaluation of the program identified this as one of the aspects of the program that the children liked the best, making it so much more likely for the actions to become habits.
The program has been successfully evaluated by the University of Sydney:
“The Challenge had a positive impact on the physical activity of students during the Challenge period. Teachers also reported that the Challenge was a great opportunity to motivate students to become more physically active."
Further, 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 and program implementation staff also noted unintended benefits of the Challenge in relation to improved attendance and behaviour, facilitating positive social behaviour by promoting teamwork and encouraging student relationships, and enhancing learning opportunities through the integration of the Challenge into teaching components of the syllabus”
“One [student] in particular, he does not do any sport at all and he wanted to be involved and ... he'd put [the pedometer] on and he'd walk around the oval, and that's the most sport I think he's done since he's been in kindergarten ... It's been a whole lifestyle change ... he was really getting a bit lazy, on the X-Box 24/7 but now he's wanting to be outside playing sport, his clothes are starting to be a bit looser on him ... so it's really good.”
Mr Horan, Walgett School, NSW
"Katie made a chocolate cake and took it to class yesterday and brought quite a bit home. She told me not all the kids wanted some because they are trying to be healthy and not eat too much sugar. I said “really why” and she said it was because of the Challenge! So there you go, the message is getting through and resonating with the kids. I thought that was pretty cool!“
“I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing challenge. I teach a class of Year 1 children and they are loving it. The first thing they do when they get to school is put on their pedometers and then they are off. Parents have commented on how active the children are too”
Helen, Peninsula Primary
“The program is well thought out and user friendly with lots of information and great tips. My parents are so impressed by this. Some are going to try hard to get their children to achieve maximum steps. Another has been so thrilled to know finally how many steps their child makes in a day.”
Mr Smith, Papakowhai School
“I can hardly believe how this has taken off. I have kids who jog next to me to talk to me because they can not stop moving, little ones running past me at a hundred miles an hour going nowhere in particular.”
Katarina, Flaxmere School
“Great way to bring a fun focus to healthy living. I think the kids favourite part by far though was seeing themselves on the videos - every time it was a high state of excitement - from Yr 5/6 students!”
Mr Mawby, Moree East School
“Thank you to you and your team for all the motivating emails and the great website you have shared with us to promote healthy habits among us all (including teachers)”
Lorelle, Torbay School
Learning opportunities in relation to healthy lifestyles were identified by teachers. One teacher noted that students were more interested in eating fruit during the Challenge and suggested that there was an increase in students bringing fruit to school.
University of Sydney evaluation
About the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust
For more than 25 years, founder Kim Harvey has poured her energy, passion and knowledge into inspiring and empowering NZ”ers, big and small, to maximise and protect their mental and physical health and wellbeing as well as they possibly can, every single day.
She learned early in her career that the key to helping people to find the intrinsic motivation to achieve this for a lifetime, centres on having fun so being healthy is a choice they want to make, rather than a chore.
Creating “fun for purpose”, has been the guiding principle of all the successful programs she has developed, from engaging and award winning health and wellbeing programs for workplaces; individual health coaching plans, and entertaining events for children and their families. The programs have empowered participants to develop a love of being active and making healthy choices the way they “do life” having a massive, positive impact on their mental and physical health, every day.
With research showing that the first 10 years of life are critical to ensure children develop a love of being healthy and active, Kim developed a home-based activity program for children and their families to help them find their way to create sustainable healthy habits. She secured funding from Sport Auckland and teamed with a DHB dietician, visited families in their homes and often brought her families together to have fun being active together in a supportive environment. This was so effective it was rolled out nationwide under the Green Prescription “Active Families” banner and continues today.
To reach more people, in a cost-effective way, working with a passionate group of animators and developers, Kim created an entertaining, online wellbeing challenge that has been embraced by workplaces, schools, children and their families.
The Virtual Adventure program has been run for the NSW Ministry of Health, collaborating with NSW Rugby League and successfully evaluated by the University of Sydney as having a myriad of benefits to the participants, including moving more, but more importantly, loving the feeling of being more fit and healthy as a result of participating.
In NZ in 2016, with the support of sponsors, 15,000 children and their parents took part in the Virtual Adventure and the 2018 event saw more than 40,000 children and families from across NZ participating and many more on the waiting list.
For the 2020 Virtual Adventure we are excited to have a new family of sponsors, with Zespri as primary sponsor and inspiring ASICS Ambassadors to guide the journey, having fun and empowering Kiwi’s choose to live their healthiest lives.
Registrations of interest for the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure open in February 2020 with limited places.
If you are interested in supporting the Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure on our mission, or you want to participate either with your class or family, drop us a line.