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Walk and talk to health

Wednesday October 10, 2018 Written by Published in Health
The Internal Aff airs team had a great time competing in the 2011 Vaevae Challenge. 18100808 The Internal Aff airs team had a great time competing in the 2011 Vaevae Challenge. 18100808

“These Boots are made for walking and that’s what the Cook Islanders are going to do, and one of these days these boots are going to walk all around you.” 


That is the theme song for the new and exciting Vaevae Revival project spearheaded by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with other stakeholders who want to get the Cook Islands moving again.  

The Vaevae Challenge was last “walked” in 2014. It was initiated in 2007, with other challenges every year until 2014.

Popular with many in the community of all ages, shapes and fitness levels, groups of work mates, friends, colleagues, mothers, brothers, children and fitness fanatics all enjoyed the fun and camaraderie of walking and talking towards a healthier way of life.

The Ministry of Health has been working with local businesses to encourage health and wellbeing in the workplace and found many asked if the Vaevae Challenge, as it was originally called, could be set up again.

“So there is a lot of interest in the community,” says Tairea, in addition the Ministry of Health was approached by interested stakeholders who are keen to assist in the fight against NCDs, to organise another Vaevae Challenge, As a result these key stakeholders which include Victoria Dearlove of Yoga Space, Chris Denny of Rarotonga Personal Trainers, Ruth Horton-Mave representing Rarotonga TFC and Augustine Kopa of Natura Kuki Airani, forming the Vaevae Revival Committee, are now responding with another exciting 8 week program, called the Vaevae Revival 2018.

The Committee wants to take out the thought of walking as being a challenge rather we want people to discover the fun of walking and talking and how it can benefit health and fitness at the same time.

Since the WHO labelled Cook Islands most obese nation in the world the Health Ministry have been talking with interested parties to bring ideas and activities to the community so we can lose this label.  The 2014 STEPS Survey reports a marked improvement in activity levels, which is good, now Ministry of Health and partners want to include as many newcomers and especially those most at risk to join in as well.

The Vaevae revival is an 8 week group walking programme, where you can form your own group, team or tribe to enter for free.  Walking 30 minutes every day will accrue 20 points per walker, and the points goes towards the team total.  If you are not able to do 30 minutes all at once due to time or fitness constraints it can be broken down into 2x 15mins or 3x 10mins “small bites’’.

It is more fun and easier when walking in a group or with one or two others, but if timing does not allow, individual members can do their own 30 min walk in their own time then add to the team total.  Honesty in recording of times is essential, as prizes are available to winning teams.

Once the walking starts the Vaevae Revival Committee are asking, if you see walkers on the road making an effort no matter how fast or slow, large or small, they are asking the community to encourage everyone with a Like, Thumbs up, by giving two toots and a thumbs up out the window.  Together we can walk our way back to a healthy life.

The Vaevae Revival will start Oct 15 to Dec 7, Registration of teams will be open until Friday.  A Meet and Greet fun walk to kick the programme off is on today.  An entry form will be available on Ministry of Health website at  www.health.gov.ck, or you can pick up a copy at public health or selected sites.

            - MoH release

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