The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is FREE and runs for 5 weeks in Term 4. You'll receive a Class Pack before it starts, with pedometers, a wall map and a few surprises too!
Places are limited to just 20,000 and fill up quickly, so you will need to get in quick!
Join in the fun by entering your class in the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, and take a global "journey" with our inspiring ASICS Ambassadors, NZ sporting stars; Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Kane Williamson and Samantha Charlton.
It's all about helping children to develop healthy habits that benefit them every day in countless ways, but also build the foundations of good mental and physical health and wellbeing to carry them into adulthood.
Children create their own unique avatar who they will see in the video's of each destination your class will "visit". To earn points to move the team around the global course, tamariki engage in daily health habits in the real world, like eating fruit and veges, moving more often, sleeping well, minimising their leisure screen time and drinking plenty of water. You don't need pedometers, as time spent being active also earns points, but we'll send you out as many as you would like (you'll choose when you complete your class set up).
It's so easy to enter points into the online platform and either you to enter a class average for the day (suits younger aged children) or the tauira can enter all their own points. When your team reaches each destination, you will see your avatars interacting with our inspiring ASICS Ambassadors, who will teach you about the place you are "visiting" as well as giving healthy tips!
This program has been run four times in New Zealand now, with demand for places exceeding availability each time. Teachers have told us that they and their akonga love the program because it engages and activates them in so many different ways, boosting team work, creating conversations around health and wellbeing and in some cases, even being the catalyst for some tamariki to attend school. Rather than creating more work, teachers have told us how they have been able to utilise different elements of the program into class lessons such as maths, reading, literacy and of course, health and PE. We'll give you links to loads of great resources you can use, should you wish to integrate it into any area of your curriculum.
It's Evidence Based:
Results from a research study led by the University of Sydney have found that participation in the program:
• Improved focus and attention
• Improved attendance and behaviour
• Facilitated positive social behaviour by promoting teamwork and encouraging student relationships
• Enhanced learning opportunities by integrating the Challenge elements into the curriculum
• Leads to statistically significant improvements in activity levels
Post-event research showed that doing more physical activity, becoming fit and feeling healthier were identified by the students themselves as some of the things they liked the most about taking part.
It's FREE to enter!
You'll receive a class pack of goodies including pedometers if you want them
You can join in weekly mini-challenges with prizes to be won from Zespri, ASICS and others
We have ASICS shoes to give away to all students in at least one lucky class (maybe more!)
There is a fun Zespri Community to reward a hard-working school
We encourage whanau to participate as well
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;
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
Teachers indicated that students were more engaged in learning during the Challenge as the physical activities performed during class time addressed fatigue and helped students re-engage with classroom learning.
Learning opportunities in relation to healthy lifestyles were identified by some 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.
“I saw the potential in it for other lessons as well like particularly maths. So I could utilise the challenge in a lot of our maths lessons as well ... It was good ... Just from the very basic reading four and five digit numbers and comparing, like doing averages. The kids have learnt how to calculate averages just through looking at the steps from the challenge. There’s so many opportunities. The addition and subtractions to see who had the most, what the class average was, what the personal average was, we looked at the little pedometers that we use, converted the steps to kilometres as well ... So lots and lots of opportunities to incorporate maths into it.”
Well, each time we went to different countries we would just then do like an explicit lesson on teaching what that country is because a lot of these kids haven't even been on an aeroplane, let alone, you know, anywhere, so it was good. We located on the world map and then we did sort of just a basic thing on each country that we went to and where it was and what their food is, what the culture is, what the language is, all that sort of stuff.”
“The online avatars and video clips got kids really engaged. Loved the way it opened discussion and curiosity about places around the world.”
“We used the Challenge everyday in every curriculum area to enrich our teaching experience. I cannot thank you enough”
Improved Attendance, Behaviour, Social Interaction and Teamwork Teachers indicated that the Challenge had had a positive impact on students who were known to misbehave in the playground as they were more focused on organising activities to increase their steps.
“I have a group of boys that are troubled and normally cause trouble in the playground and the Challenge motivated them to play differently and to organise activities in the playground to increase their steps ... They knew they had to keep moving and playing the games to be able to keep up with the others in the class.” Moree School, NSW
Several teachers reported that the Activity Challenge motivated attendance at school and had had an impact on attendance among some students who had not been attending school regularly.
“Socially, yeah, because kids are forming little groups - ‘Oh let’s go off and do this to get our steps at lunchtime’. So socially it was good. Especially girls, there’s quite a few girls that got together in groups – ‘What can we do to get our steps? Oh we’ll go and walk on a basketball court or something’. So yeah, there were groups of girls that wouldn’t normally hang out together that were making little groups to get their steps up. So that was good.”
“Definitely social, too, working with part of the team and encouraging communication"
It Aligns to the Curriculum
The Young and Active Virtual Adventure has been used by teachers in all sorts of class lessons. It aligns with the NZ education curriculum in the following ways:
Key Competencies: It brings an experiential element to learning that fosters the key competencies of the NZC outlined below.
Learning Areas: The Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure has relevance to the following learning areas; Health and Physical Education, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Literacy, Science and Geography learning areas
The Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure aligns with the principles of Te Whare Tapa Wha, hauora (holistic wellbeing).
FAQ's for Teachers
What happens to our information?
The privacy and security of all participants information is of paramount importance to us. For this reason, all passwords are encrypted to the same very high standard as your banks; children’s names are given as first name and last initial only; and adult contact details are only shared if permission is given for the purposes of being eligible for prizes and receiving tips and information from our partners.
All data is housed in the secure cloud servers of Amazon Web Services, one of the largest providers of these services in the world and is deleted once the event has finished.
What technology do we need in order to run the program?
You need to have a good internet connection to access the Challenge HTML website and App via PC's or devices.
Is there a maximum number of children we can have in each class team?
Approximately 35 is the maximum. If you are in an ILE or MLE please see the next FAQ.
What if I teach in an integrated class environment where the class size is greater than this?
We understand that these types of environments still have a “basecamp” for a subset of the total number of students with a teacher or assistant associated with that group. We recommend that you set up each basecamp as a “team”. We also need a teacher or adult to act as a “team manager” for each team. If you need help with this, please just contact our support crew at firstname.lastname@example.org
What do we get when we complete our class team set up for the Virtual Adventure?
We will send you a class pack with some goodies to help you on your Virtual Adventure.
My colleagues want to get involved too. How do they do that?
Simply send them to our website https://www.youngandhealthy.org.nz and click the "Teachers, grab places now" button. By filling out the form that you did, we will be able to send them their own unique link to set up their class.
How can we get parents involved?
When parents are involved with and helping their children, they are more successful, whether it be learning or practising healthy behaviours. So we have a few ways that parents can get involved and will help you to communicate with them once your class is registered.
How does our class team move around the Virtual Adventure course?
Because the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure Challenge is all about cultivating healthy habits, the class team can move around the global course using a number of different measures;
- time spent doing "huff and puff" activity
- eating fruit and vege's
- hydrating with water or milk
- minimising screen time
- maximising sleep time
- prioritzing moments of mindfulness
Students can enter their own daily information into their profiles, or if you have younger students you can easily enter 1 set of data that will be applied across your whole class.
Tamariki can track all of these elements, or focus on just one or two e.g steps and drinking water. What is important is that you use it in a way that is most useful to you and your tauira.
What support will we get over the course of the Virtual Adventure?
You will receive a weekly email to keep you informed of what is coming up next for you, including the destinations, players and health and wellbeing messages you could use in your class if you wanted to.
We'll send you mini-challenges that you can win prizes for if you want to participate.
You are able to contact the support crew by phone or email at any time if you need assistance.
Do we have to do anything extra to meet the targets of the Virtual Adventure?
Not if you don’t want to. Simply get your students to focus on reaching the daily target of 60 minutes of huff and puff activity and/or any of the other healthy habits e.g eating fruit and vege's.
However, if you want to integrate themes of the program further into your lessons, we'll provide you with ideas and tools to use. There are 1-5 minute activity break ideas, along with health and wellbeing tips and all the course details showing the destinations you are visiting around the world that are great for culture, history, geography and more.
How long do we need to spend on this each day?
To do the basics of entering a daily total into the Class Home Page online will take you about 5-10 minutes (unless your students are entering their own information themselves). If your class "team" reaches the end of a leg, you may trigger an animation to watch together...these are about 2-3 minutes in length and stimulate much fun and often discussion.
Points do not have to be entered every day either., you can just catch them up. Logging in 2-3 times a week can work well.
How do we use our pedometers?
We have listened to all your feedback about pedometers and it varies widely. So, whilst it makes it harder for us to organise and budget for, we have decided to put the choice firmly in your hands.
As students can earn points from other healthy habits and track activity time rather than steps, a pedometer is not necessary, but you have also told us that the pedometers are motivating and fun so we are giving you the choice of receiving a pedometer for each student, or a set of 10 per class to share or none at all.
As we are also conscious of the impact of these wee pieces of motivation on our environment, we have found pedometers with long life batteries that can be changed so they can be used again next year, if taken care of. Children from two different schools have tested the wrist bands we have this year and they have been found to be robust and lasted well.
Based on testing the sharing option with students have found the two most effective (and still fun and motivating) ways to use them are;
1. Groups of 5
If you have your class broken up into groups of 5 students, one student in each group can have a turn 1 day of each week to be the "pacesetter" for their group. They wear the pedometer for the day and their group uses those steps for their individual entries.
2. Have a dally pacesetter group
You select a group of "pacesetter" students who wear pedometers for the day and the average of their steps is the step count that all the children enter for that day. Some teachers liked this for the maths element calculating the average steps each day.
Is there are daily activity target we need to achieve?
It is recommended that children are move as much as possbile, including 60 minutes of "huff and puff" activity that gets them sweaty and a bit tired .