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New Zealand Sports for Health programme launches in Tonga Featured

New Zealand Sports for Health programme launches in Tonga

2 February, 2018. The New Zealand funded Sports for Health Rugby Programme is being launched at Kolomotu’a Community Rugby Field on Tuesday 6 February.

The initiative is a Pacific Sporting Partnership, delivered by New Zealand Rugby, to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage boys and girls in the Pacific to be active and to get involved in sports.

It will introduce children in the Pacific to a type of rugby known as ‘Quick Rip’ (noncontact ugby), alongside a healthy lifestyles awareness campaign. 

The five year ‘Quick Rip’ rugby programme will be delivered in Tonga, Fiji, Cook Islands and Samoa. New Zealand’s $4 million investment supports efforts across the four countries to reduce the rate of non-communicable diseases in the Pacific. 

New Zealand ‘Quick Rip’ ambassadors, former All Black Pita Alatini, and Black Fern Charlene Gubb (formerly Halapua), will be in Tonga to take Quick Rip across Tongatapu. 

“Playing sport is a great way to get children active and to learn the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while having fun,” Acting High Commissioner Nick Hurley says.

“Quick Rip is a safe, easy-to-play game that is suitable for all ages. The Sports for Health programme will focus on girls and boys aged 13 – 18 years of age.” 

New Zealand Rugby will work closely with the Tongan Rugby Union to deliver the programme and will provide training to support local coaches and referees.

“I encourage the public to attend the Quick Rip games to see local teams display their skills, and to meet the sports ambassadors,” said Nick Hurley. 

The Pacific Sporting Partnerships also includes a Sports for Health Netball Programme, which was launched in Fiji and the Cook Islands in 2017. The Sports for Health Netball Programme will be launched in Tonga and Samoa in March 2018.

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