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About the School Program

Why get involved?

It's an evidence-based program that inspires, motivates and encourages tamariki and their whanau to develop healthy habits to create the foundations of good physical and mental wellbeing / hauora for life. 

Our daily mood and hauora are impacted by many small things that we do every day as well as things that happen around us.  Actions like; moving our bodies often, sleeping and eating as best we can, drinking plenty of water and increasing nutrient-dense foods like fruit and veges fuel our energy and make us able to function at our best.  Small habits, repeated daily, can help us to develop physical and mental health and resilience that can carry through our lifetime.  Research has shown that the first 10 years of our lives are a critical period for the formation of attitudes and habits relating to our health and wellbeing.

So the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure uses a little bit of technology to engage our "iPad generation" to help them embed the knowledge and habits to make the best choices they can every day to help their physical and mental Hauora.  It's a fun program that takes tamariki on a virtual global adventure led by a star cast of NZ sporting elite, ASICS Ambassadors; Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Kane Williamson and Olivia Shannon. 

By engaging in daily behaviours in the real world like; drinking lots of water, eating fruit and veges while reducing snack foods, minimising device time, sleeping well and enjoying moments of mindfulness, tamariki will earn points to move their class team around the virtual course "visiting" places like; Japan, China, New Zealand and more.  As well as getting healthy tips from our ASICS Ambassadors, they'll learn about the history and culture of the destinations you reach.

What you need to know.

  • If you've done it before, we have an amazing new HTML website easily accessible on any PC, laptop or device, avatar builder and updated animations!

  • You'll get free pedometers if you want them (you nominate how many or none at all)

  • There are competitions with prizes and giveaways throughout the 5 weeks

  • Every child builds their own unique avatar and will see video's of each adventure destination, interacting with our ASICS Ambassadors

  • We have ASIC's shoes to give away to some lucky classes

  • There is a fun Zespri Community Day to reward a highly engaged school

  • Parents can get involved too and have a chance to win some awesome prizes


Proposed dates for 2024 are Term 3 from 29th July - 30th August.
Join the 2024 Early-Bird Registration List Here

Early bird registration for 2024 is now openl*

* places are free for students from New Zealand schools only and are allocated at the discretion of the Young & Healthy Trust.

How do I use the program?

There is no prescriptive way to implement the Zespri Young & Healthy Virtual Adventure, however here are some of the ways our participants have used it in the past:

•  as a fun way to get tamariki more active during breaks and outside of school

•  to help with underlying concepts of the HPE curriculum;


- Hauora

- Health promotion

- The socio-ecological perspective

- Attitudes and values

•  in the wider curriculum; maths, reading, literacy, geography, culture etc.

•  if you are a Healthy Active Learning school, it could be used to achieve some of your objectives

"We liked discussing the healthy foods we ate, what we did for exercise and how we were trying to cut down the use of technology devices. Also the travelling around the world was awesome - especially the clips at the end of each leg." 

Melissa, teacher

More about the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure

​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 kura across Aotearoa with over 150,000 tamariki participating so far during the five years it has been run in NZ.


Led by our inspirational ASICS 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, China, Italy, Aotearoa and more. 

As their team reaches each destination, tamariki 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 4-5 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 feeling of the positive impact of all their small daily actions combined.  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. 

Example of the Virtual Challenge created by the kids.webp

Proven Effectiveness

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.”

Early-bird Registrations for 2024 are open!

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