Rotorua gyms are offering their members an opportunity to work out and work on their Maori vocabulary.
Three gyms are using innovative ways for their members to mark Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori - Maori Language Week which runs until Saturday. Members will be greeted in Maori and the language will be incorporated into some fitness classes.
"As the rohe's largest distinctly bicultural tertiary education provider, Waiariki Institute of Technology is always ready to support any kaupapa that spreads awareness of both Maori Language Week or te reo," Waiariki head of health and sport department, Amanda Heapy said. "With over 50 per cent of our student body identifying as Maori, this opportunity provides the perfect ability to encourage the use of Maori language and a healthy lifestyle to students, staff and our wider community, both on and off campus."
Go360 is also getting behind the week. "We are passionate about keeping the Maori culture alive through our native language, we are Kiwi proud and like to show that anyway we can, we find te reo fun and heartwarming," Go360 director Belinda Bennett said.
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Manager of Anytime Fitness, Justin Heurea said it was important to their members as well as adding value to their business. "We're keen to get involved because as a club we try to operate as a community within a community and having many Maori members it is important. "
Steve Gardiner at Golds Gym said implementing te reo at his gym resonated with him on a personal level. "I'm keen to do what I can. I have just been learning the Lord's prayer in Maori so it's something that I'm interested in."
The gym initiative was led by Healthy Families Rotorua which brought together a partnership of key organisations in the community and established a dedicated health promotion working group. "It's not only supporting te reo Maori but also to support healthy living for our people," manager Leanne Morehu said. "It's about trying to normalising te reo while also encouraging people to be active and eat a better diet. Ultimately our communities aim to be resilient, healthy and supportive. By aligning the Healthy Families kaupapa to other projects and programmes that fall outside of nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and responsible alcohol consumption, Healthy Families Rotorua becomes more aware of other issues that impact on our families abilities to lead healthier lives."