20,000 Kiwi kids start the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure

Media Release

20 Oct 2020

Starting today, 20,000 children across New Zealand are embarking on the five-week Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, which promotes the importance of eating well, exercising and taking care of the environment.

A whopping 760 classrooms from across 250 primary and intermediate schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill will earn points for simple healthy habits like drinking more water, eating fruit and vegetables and minimising screen time, which will help them travel virtually to eleven different locations across the globe with their classmates.

Kim Harvey, founder of the Young and Healthy Charitable Trust and Virtual Adventure, is delighted to kick off the adventure and help share the foundations of good health with this year’s participants.

“The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is designed to support children to create their best health and wellbeing every day, and influence their families to get involved too,” says Ms Harvey.

“Research shows us the foundations of good health are formed in the first 10 years of a child’s life, so it’s really important we find ways to engage children so they understand and notice for themselves what it feels like when they make healthy choices.”

Support from a variety of like-minded organisations like principal sponsor Zespri and global lifestyle brand ASICS means all 20,000 children can participate free of charge. Participants will also be encouraged throughout the adventure by ASICS Ambassadors Ardie Savea, Kane Williamson, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Samantha Charlton.

This week, ASICS New Zealand will be delivering new shoes for each child, to two deserving classes in Wellington and Auckland as part of their Fit You Out competition.

“ASICS is really excited to be involved in the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure, given it aligns so well with our desire to help New Zealanders discover a world of movement,” says ASICS New Zealand’s Jason Niles.

“We’re really looking forward to surprising children with their new ASICS shoes, which we know will support their efforts during the adventure.”

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says Zespri is proud to support the adventure and the benefits it’s set to bring to children and their families nationwide.

“The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure is Zespri’s first nationwide community investment programme and we’re thrilled to help encourage 20,000 children to look after their physical and mental health and wellbeing for life,” says Mr Mathieson.

“It encourages and empowers our youngest New Zealanders to embrace their health and wellbeing and introduces important issues like sustainability and biosecurity, which are critical to our industry and reflect values that are at the core of Zespri’s identity.

“The adventure reflects our purpose to help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We know that as our industry grows, so too must the contributions we make, and the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual adventure helps us to play our part in supporting our communities.

“It’s also important that we continually invest in the skills, leadership and wellbeing of our next generation, and promote the importance of looking after our people and the land, and we think the adventure provides a fun and engaging platform to get kids thinking about healthy eating and healthy action.

“We’re really excited for the launch of this year’s adventure, and we hope all participants enjoy their virtual journey with their classmates – and of course, their avatars.”

The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure begins on Tuesday 20 October, and concludes Tuesday 24 November.