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Youth taking up the challenge

Instead of hibernating during the winter months, the New Lynn Samoan Seventh Day Adventist church members in West Auckland are taking healthy living to a whole new level, by taking part in the Aiga Challenge.

The 8-week challenge is run by the West Fono Health Trust’s, Enua Ola Church Programme and takes place from 6 May to 30 June. Its goal is to increase Pacific health and wellbeing.

Triscilla Lurch shares her church’s story:

“Being Samoan, Aiga (family) means everything to us so we included everyone in the Aiga Challenge. Our youngest member is 3 years old and the oldest is 70. Some are in this challenge to lose weight, some are in it to get fit and some are in it to make lifestyle changes. Whatever the reason, we're willing to work together to achieve our individual goals.

86 members of our church signed up and registered getting waist measurements, weight and had ‘before’ photos taken which were sent away to Enua Ola on the first week.

Weigh-ins are required by Enua Ola at the beginning and end of the challenge but our health committee have made it our mission to make sure we do fortnightly weigh-ins to keep track of everyones progress.

We have done Thursday night aerobics and on Sunday mornings we have boot camp workouts in different locations. All workouts are taken by our very own youth members, Trish Fatu, Kara Okesene, Sekai Lemusu, Savea, Joewell and Doreen Savea, Tafa Fidow and Tavita Lurch. They have been privileged to work with the Enua Ola Mentor, Dallas Tipau and Enua Ola Coordinator Tenga Schwalger-Teura.

During the Aiga Challenge we are expected to do nutrition challenges and so with the help of the Heart Foundation and our nutrition champion Trish, our church have been able to learn a lot about nutrition by using the fun, innovative methods taught at the Certificate of Proficiency in Pacific Nutrition (CPPN).

We held a Health Week from May 18th-May 25th. Trish was able to start our week off with a 7am nutrition class and we also had many other sessions such as The Benefits of Exercise, Alcohol, Drugs & Gambling, Smoking and Spiritual Health. On the Thursday, we held a blue and red theme aerobics class (shown in the photo). It was an amazing week.

Our participants have been very supportive of every activity or training given to them and their enthusiasm and energy levels are on a whole new high. We have remained active throughout and are hoping to win the Aiga Challenge. Click here to watch their testimonials.

No matter what the outcome, our church Aiga are staying strong and hoping they can help make a difference not only within our lives, but within our Pacific community.”

Look at all Pacific Nutrition courses