An initiative to ensure that healthy options are available for children’s sports awards has been rolled out to local primary school teams since the beginning of the winter sports season and received enthusiastically.

Instead of the usual lollies and takeaway voucher, traditionally handed out at the end of games to player of the day, a healthy alternative of a bottle of water and a packet of vegetable seeds is being given.

The initiative is the brainchild of Te Hiku Hauora Health Promotion kaimahi, and netball mum, Louisa Cooper.

“Access to good healthy kai at sports events is challenging enough and with any sport, it should be coupled with good nutrition and healthy hydration” says Louisa.

“We want to be sending the message to our tamariki, and whanau, that water is best.”

The initiative has been offered to all and so far 15 teams, covering a variety of sports codes, from rugby to netball to soccer, have taken it up.

The parents have all been very supportive and the response from the kids has been enthusiastic.

One parent went on to say that they were so grateful that they went on to plant the seeds straight after the game.

If any local sports teams, or schools, are interested in learning more about this initiative, they are welcome to contact Louisa at Te Hiku Hauora (ph 408 4024) for more information.