Touch rugby season is winding up for kids in the Hutt Valley but this year they’ll take away some messages about healthy choices too.
Teams played their final games and wrapped up their season recently. However, the usual prizes of chocolate bars and fizzy drinks were passed up in favour of healthier options.
Kids aged from seven to 13 involving more than 50 teams took part in the last games at Hutt Park at the end of March.
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In the Year 7/8 girls first division, the Hutt Intermediate Highlanders took out the top title and the Hutt Intermediate Warriors took out the Year 7/8 boys prize in first division.
Avalon Intermediate beat Sacred Heart’s Panthers in the mixed Year 7/8 group to claim their title.
The games wrapped up in the afternoon and the prizes were handed out, with chocolates and fizzy drinks missing from goodie bags.
Manager Bronwyn Jahnke said the adults and referees involved in the games helped kids choose water over sugary energy drinks or juice while playing too.
“Total Touch educated our referees to back up the pro-water message. Refs now know they can’t drink their fizzy or sports drinks in front of our tamariki.”
Healthy Families Lower Hutt and Total Touch have been working together to provide better options for kids playing touch, including changing food items in prizegiving bags and awarding kids with free entry into Hutt City Council pools.
This season also saw a “Hydration Station” being set up. The station is portable and provides fresh water for kids playing in the parks.
“The way it looks as well as the way it works really engages the tamariki, they can’t wait for their turn to fill up their drink bottles,” Jahnke said.