Rachel Grunwell is a fitness writer for the Herald on Sunday.

5 quirky ways to keep kids fit

Keeping children fit doesn’t have to mean signing up for a soccer team, enrolling in ballet classes or finding a netball squad. Fitness writer Rachel Grunwell explores five quirky ways to get kids moving.
Five cool and quirky ways to keep kids fit.
Five cool and quirky ways to keep kids fit.

1. What: Archery


Why it's great: Movies like The Hobbit and The Hunger Games have made this Olympic sport cool in recent years. Kids aged 10-plus can take part and have a choice from three target-based clubs or five field-based clubs Auckland-wide. The latter sees targets set up in the bush. The idea is for kids to use a bow to propel arrows at a target, aiming to strike the centre of the gold section of the target. The arrows each earn points which are totalled together to get the winner. Fourteen-year-old archer Luke Franklyn says he likes the sport because "you can be as competitive as you want" and "you don't have to rely on anyone else; if you make a mistake - it's your own fault". Meanwhile, for those parents worried about kids using a weapon, safety is a big part of the sport and kids are mentored.

Where: To find a club near you check out archerynz.co.nz

Cost: Different clubs have different prices. But an example is a junior annual membership fee at the One Tree Hill club is $125.

2. What: Kids aerial class

Why it's great: Kids get to have fun learning circus-style tricks under the safety of skilled and professional performers. It's "wow" kinda stuff. Kids get to try things like being up high in a hoop or on silks, doing drops and tumbling, to handstands and stretching in preparation for the splits. It's for those aged seven and above and they learn at their own pace and through a grading system similar to martial arts or ballet. By the way, the directors of this place are Eve Gordon (Stacey from The Almighty Johnsons) and partner Mike Edward (who used to be on Shortland Street).

Where: The Dust Palace, 1/739 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland, thedustpalace.co.nz

Cost: 10-week term is $200.

Kids aerial class.
Kids aerial class.

3. What: Capoeira

Why it's great: This is something from another country and culture. It's from Brazil and developed during the years of colonialism and slavery. It's like a mix of martial arts, kicks, tricks, hand-stands, theatrics and music. It's playful, kids get to jump around a lot - and at the same time learn respect for each other and gain self confidence. Kids classes are held for ages 4-8-years, or older kids classes are for those 8-12-years-old. This one gets kids mighty fit.

Where: Capoeria Academy and Cultural Centre, 29 Randolph St, Newton, Auckland capoeira.org.nz

Cost: $65 per 10-week term.


4. What: Creative Dance at TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre

Why it's great: Instead of following a set-in-stone dance routine, kids can rather create and dream up their own here. This place celebrates the creativity of each child and lets them blossom with confidence. They learn the art of knowing their body in dance, exploring space, time, energy and music. This class is held for 4-year-olds, five-year-olds, and six-seven-year-olds.

Where: TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland tapac.org.nz

Cost: from about $140-$165 per term, depending on age.

Creative Dance at TAPAC.
Creative Dance at TAPAC.

5. What: Ice-Hockey

Why it's great: Kids who love ice-skating, can step things up a level and do ice-hockey. They get to have a stick in hand and look a bit like Robocop wearing all that padded safety gear, helmet and gloves. So flag boring old grass-based hockey and put this sport on ice! It's coming up to Winter in a few months and so cooler sports can beckon. Kids aged 12-years and over, with some skating ability, can get into this sport. Kids learn some cools skills.

Where: Paradice Avondale,150 Landsford Crescent, Avondale/ as well as cnr Botany Road and Ti Rakau Drive, Botany Downs, Auckland, paradice.co.nz

Cost: Between $19-$22 per session including skate hire and gear.


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