Rotorua’s Ngahuia Werahiko is the winner of a nationwide ‘Healthy Player’ competition organised by Southern Cross Health Society.
As her prize, eight-year-old Ngahuia, a friend, her brother and mother Natasha Werahiko travelled to Auckland to watch the Silver Ferns play Australia at Vector Arenaon September 20. They were also given exclusive access to watch a morning training session before the big match.
This year was Ngahuia’s first season of netball, and she’s already had a taste of success – her team Lynmore Diamonds took out their section in the local schools competition.
Natasha Werahiko said Ngahuia enjoyed the game more and more as the season progressed and she got to know her way around the court.
“But it was all about getting out and participating during winter, and getting some good exercise,” said Natasha.
The Healthy Player competition aimed to encourage children and their families to keep active by participating in Netball New Zealand’s “Future Ferns” programme, which teaches 7-9 year old players netball skills and rules. Over 30,000 players take part in the Future Ferns programme nationwide.
Coaches of Future Ferns-age teams across the country were issued with ‘Healthy Player of the Day’ and ‘Healthy Supporter of the Day’ certificates by Southern Cross to hand out after each week’s game. Each Healthy Player and Healthy Supporter certificate recipient was able to enter online into the draw forthe main prize.
Southern Cross already supports healthy lifestyles for adults through its corporate wellness programmes. Teaming up with Netball New Zealand has allowed the organisation to extend that support to children and their families, said Southern Cross Health Society Chief Executive Peter Tynan.
“Our goal was to recognise and reward positive, healthy behaviour on and off the court. Netball is a great way for the family to get active, especially during the colder months. Congratulations to Ngahuia and everyone that took part in the Future Ferns programme this season.”