A community initiative has been launched by Healthy Families Waitakere, Sport Waitakere, and the New Lynn Stags Rugby League Club who have also partnered with New Zealand Rugby League. This initiative is a community playgroup which was launched on Wednesday 27th July at the clubrooms in New Lynn.
The playgroup has been supported by New Zealand Rugby League, and will provide a local option for parents and young children to connect, learn and play together. Twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays, parents and their children will take part in a range of activities including; arts and crafts, music, water play, cooking and outdoor/indoor play. In addition, the club has collaborated with community to have regular visits from the residents of local retirement villages to read stories to the children.
The playgroups provide a safe and fun learning environment for children to get valuable early learning experiences and skills, play with other children and for the parents to meet and make new friends.
In 2014; the Ministry of Education, Accident Compensation Corporation, Health Promotion Agency and NZ Police started the "More Than Just A Game" partnership with NZRL. This attracted interest from Healthy Families Waitakere who support early childhood education opportunities to be available for all our community and see value in these playgroups being established and co-ordinated by members of our sporting community, aligning with the NZRL community plan.
Healthy Families Waitakere Manager, Kerry Allan acknowledges the leadership shown by New Lynn Stags Rugby League Club “We are supportive of local champions who are creating hubs for the community to come together and be healthy”.
“It’s time to build on existing programmes and activities to have coordinated action from influential individuals and organisations so that we can create health promoting environments where people live, learn work and play” says Ms Allan.
Te Atatu Roosters Rugby League Club also holds a playgroup three times a week. Healthy Families Waitakere are encouraging more rugby and rugby league clubs to start the playgroup movement and utilise the resources provided by the New Zealand Rugby League to increase health promoting environments for children.
- Caitlin MacColl, Partnerships & Engagements Coordinator, Healthy Families Waitakere