Positive ageing, health and wellbeing, and injury prevention will be a focus at the 2021 Downer New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui.
The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is partnering with the Masters Games for the first time and WDHB chief executive Russell Simpson says it is an important move.
"We adopted our He Hāpori Ora - Thriving Communities strategy in late 2020 to give the WDHB and community more of a focus on health and wellbeing, rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff," Simpson said.
Part of this strategy is putting more emphasis into prevention and community and whānau wellbeing.
"Supporting the Masters Games is a perfect fit as we know physical wellbeing can help slow down ageing, contribute to mental wellbeing and allow people to connect with each other.
"Positive ageing is a big driver of the work the district health board does, as fit and connected people are less likely to have ongoing health conditions and need medical care."
WDHB health professionals have organised balance, stretching and exercise classes at the Games Hub to complement the sports activities.
A series of seminars on health and wellbeing to arrest the ageing process will also be run at the Games Hub. Times and dates will be available on the GamesApp from the start of February, or on www.nzmg.com.
"Everyone in our community is welcome to attend these events, not just participants," Simpson said.
WDHB physiotherapists will also be on the sidelines of some sports to assist Games participants with injury and injury prevention.
"The district health board's plans for the partnership are innovative and fit the Games philosophy perfectly," Games manager Rachel O'Connor said.
"Staying active, no matter what age, is vital to our wellbeing. With a wide range of sports on offer at the Games, there is something for everyone and the WDHB's seminars and balance classes will take fitness and recovery far beyond the 10 days of the Games. It's advice and support for life."
• The Masters Games run from February 5-14.