Education and fun went hand-in-hand for Rotorua families at an event all about awareness and fundraising for diabetes.

The World Diabetes Whānau Day was held recently at the Village Green, and was a collaboration of a range of local health services and recreational providers.

Diabetes NZ Rotorua branch manager Karen Reed says the afternoon went well, with perfect weather and spot prizes.

"There were lots of fun activities for the kids - the tug of war seemed to be a favourite.


"Yvonne Rogers' healthy boil up and rewena bread were a huge hit with people."

She says 20 people were tested for diabetes and four cases of pre-diabetes were detected.

"It was a great opportunity for people to learn more about diabetes and healthy living in a relaxed and fun environment.

"It has been good to help increase the profile of our organisation. We want the community to know that we are here for information and support for all the whānau."

Yvonne Rogers dished up a healthy boil up and rewena bread for people to enjoy. Photo / Supplied
Yvonne Rogers dished up a healthy boil up and rewena bread for people to enjoy. Photo / Supplied

Karen says the organisation wants people to be more aware of diabetes and its effects.

She says diabetes affects about 6000 people in the Lakes District Health Board area and one in four adults are thought to have pre-diabetes.

"Type 2 is reaching epidemic levels and threatens to cripple our health system in the future if we don't do something to stem the tide.

"Awareness, early diagnosis and people understanding the need to make changes to their lifestyles are key if we are to make a difference in our community."

Sport Bay of Plenty recreation adviser Lauren Atkinson says more than 150 people attended the event.


"It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes, and encourage families to have a go at a range of different activities and learn more about healthy living and the benefits of being active."

She says a highlight of the day was seeing children get involved and have loads of fun trying new activities, like riding the beginner's track put together by Mountain Bike Rotorua, trying boxing at a Waikite Gym class in the park, challenging each other in the tug-of-war games and getting active with the All About Me whānau fitness sessions.

Lauren says the day was a fun way to combine physical activities with education.

"Families were able to spend some quality time together, get active and have fun, and learn more about Type 1 and 2 diabetes and risk factors.