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Zespri Young & Healthy Virtual Adventure launched

File photo.

Zespri, ASICS and the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust have launched the 2020 Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure aimed at encouraging primary children and their families to eat better, exercise more and to lead more environmentally conscious lives.

CEO Dan Mathieson says Zespri is proud to support the challenge which will make a real difference to the lives of the thousands of young New Zealanders.

The programme will help teach our children the importance of eating well, exercising and taking care of our environment – values that are at the core of Zespri’s identity.

“As one of the world’s largest fresh produce brands, and an industry focused on helping people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit, we’re incredibly proud to be involved.”

Dan says Zespri this year announced a series of sustainability targets, aimed at ensuring the benefits of the kiwifruit industry’s growth continue to be shared, and that the industry continues to grow in the right way.

“The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is our first nationwide community investment programme, designed to bring Zespri’s purpose to life and make a real difference.

"Our ambition is to partner with local communities on healthy lifestyle programmes in all major Zespri markets by 2022 – starting with our children here in New Zealand.

“We need to continually invest in the skills, leadership, and the wellbeing of our people and land for our industry, and our communities, to thrive in the long term.

“The challenge starts in term four this year and we’re really excited about the positive benefits a programme like this will bring.”

Founder of the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust and Virtual Adventure creator Kim Harvey is thrilled to kick off the 2020 challenge, and for even more kiwi kids to sign up this year.

“With Zespri's support I can’t wait to bring the challenge to over 20,000 primary school students across Aotearoa at no cost to the participants. The Virtual Adventure is so much fun, and a great way to inspire and motivate our future generations to live an active life, and develop healthy habits to help them be the best they can be,” says Kim.

“In the six-week challenge, students are taken on a virtual journey around the globe. They earn points in the real world to move their team by tracking their daily activity and healthy behaviours, like eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, drinking water, getting enough sleep and not spending too much time on screens.

“The programme encourages kids to also think about sustainability and how healthy habits can contribute to a healthier environment. Eating more fruit and vegetables could reduce packaging, and by walking or biking as often as possible, they’ll create less pollution.”

Global lifestyle brand ASICSNZ is also on board, with four sporting ambassadors ready to lend a hand on the adventure.

"The the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is a perfect fit with our brand values and we and our ASICS Ambassadors are excited to see the kids of New Zealand benefit from such a valuable programme,” says Jason Niles.

The ASICS ambassadors recreated as avatars to support kids on the journey include a superstar cast from top NZ sporting codes, including; Kane Williamson, Samantha Charlton, Ardie Savea and Ameliaranne Ekenasio.  

Registrations for the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure are now open. Schools and teachers can register their interest by visiting www.youngandhealthy.org.nz, or by emailing kim.harvey@youngandhealthy.org.nz

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