Hawke's Bay's one of New Zealand's best sporting regions.
The Ranfurly Shield holding Magpies. The Chatham Cup holders Napier City Rovers. The Hawke Cup holding Hawke's Bay cricket team.
But new statistics have revealed that alongside that sporting success, an increasingly heavy price of injuries is being paid too.
Last year, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) spent more than $159 million helping people in Hawke's Bay recover from injuries, with 94,468 active claims across the region in 2020.
Of the 78,378 new claims accepted, 14,603 (18 per cent) were suffered through sporting and recreational activities – and the number of those claims accepted have been steadily increasing year-on-year since 2015.
Walking and running (9247), lifting, lowering and loading (6696) and employment tasks (3739) followed.
Physiotherapist and Cape Physio NZ director Candace Wheatley said with long sunlight hours, Hawke's Bay has more people participating in sports and exercise than most.
"These numbers are not surprising," she said. "The amount of injuries people experience goes up with the amount of sport they're participating in."
Optimise Physio clinical director Louise Coughlan said 20 per cent of all injuries at their Hastings clinic are due to sporting activities.
"At this time of year, with the beginning of the winter sports season, we see an influx of an array of sporting injuries including ankle sprains, knee sprains, shoulder sprains and back sprains to name but a few," she said.
Hastings led the way for the number of claims in the region last year with 40,087, followed by Napier (29,354), Central Hawke's Bay (6340) and Wairoa (2703).
Coughlan said the most common causes of sporting injuries were training error, failure to fully rehabilitate past injuries and failure to complete an injury prevention programme.
She said "training overload" can be avoided with careful planning and monitoring performance and recovery.
"Often people believe if their injury no longer is causing pain, it must be healed," she said. "And remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
According to Wheatley, swapping team sports and attending the gym for solo exercise like walking, running and cycling actually increased the number of injuries over lockdown.
"With these changes in physical requirements come injuries," she said.
While sport led the way for the cause of injuries in 2020, Hawke's Bay residents are more likely to be injured in their own home than anywhere else.
A total of 44,682 claims were accepted in the region last year from injuries suffered in the home, followed by the road or street (3674), school (2935), farms (458) and industrial sites (144).
Wheatley said while a "huge proportion" of injuries at Cape Physio were through sport, while activities including gardening, DIY, falls and lifting heavy objects were also common.
"My strongest piece of advice for people with injuries - whether sporting related or general injuries - is to seek help sooner rather than later," she said.
"The sooner we get eyes on it and can start managing symptoms and rehabilitation, the better outcomes people have and the faster symptoms resolve."
ACC accepts more than two million claims every year in NZ, which equates to more than 5000 injury claims a day nationwide – at a cost of more than $4bn annually.
It is estimated 90 per cent of injuries are preventable.
The high levels of claims nationwide sparked the recent launch of a new injury prevention campaign entitled "Preventable'.
The campaign aims to improve wellbeing by decreasing the number and severity of injuries and urges New Zealanders to "have a Hmmm".
ACC head of injury prevention Isaac Carlson said taking a pause could save days, weeks, months or a lifetime of harm and hurt – for the person and others.
"Injury harm continues to be unacceptably high, which impacts the wellbeing of the entire country. We can all collectively do more to look out for ourselves and each other."