Guess who came to play ball at Tupapa?

Wednesday June 14, 2017 Written by Published in Other Sports
New Zealand prime minister Bill English and Minister of Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro try their hand at cricket at the Just Play village festival in Tupapa yesterday. 17061378 New Zealand prime minister Bill English and Minister of Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro try their hand at cricket at the Just Play village festival in Tupapa yesterday. 17061378

New Zealand prime minister Bill English and Minister of Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro stopped by Victoria Park during their Rarotonga visit to witness about 200 children take part in the Just Play programme.

 

The park was packed to the brim with excited children, learning skills from sports such as rugby, soccer, cricket and badminton.

Michelle Paiti, the project manager of Just Play, was thrilled with the response of the participants, pointing to the crowded field as evidence of its success so far.

“They’re loving the opportunity, they’re loving the environment, the kids can’t get enough of Just Play at the moment,” she said, “It’s overwhelming, the response from the children and the parents.”

Having active children is crucial to their upbringing, and Paiti believes that Just Play is an integral part of helping the youth community in this regard.

“In our community, we have a huge issue with health issues and obesity and diabetes, and todays message is making healthy choices… for us it’s really important about making sure that the kids stay active every day for 60 minutes plus.”

One of the young participants to benefit from this initiative is Alistair Newbigging, who got to chat with PM English.

“No”, was his initial answer when asked if he knew who English was, before admitting that he was aware that the visitor was the Prime Minister.

The young winger did not lack confidence, stating it was probably lucky that his chat with English did not involve a physical match up, as he was probably “too good”.

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