Two Ngā Tai Ora – Public Health Northland team members will share a role on the Executive Board of the Northland Sports Coalition (NSC) and contribute their expertise to help raise awareness of the importance of sports in Northland and having an active lifestyle.
The NSC first formed in 2015 and is made up of members from Northland’s regional sporting organisations with an aim to support and advocate for the ongoing development of sport in the region.
They Coalition work to strengthen the engagement between sport and the various Northland councils and provide submissions on planning and infrastructure matters. They also identify areas of common interest and advocate for regional co-operation on sport, active recreation and play issues with a te ao Māori perspective.
The Executive comprises of 11 representatives, six elected by NSC member sports organisations, four members appointed, one from Northland’s Councils, and one from the Northland District Health Board. This role will be shared by community wellbeing advisor Louisa Kingi and Public Health Medicine Specialist Dr Bart Willems.
Around half the Executive Board decided to lead by example by using active transport to get from Sport Northland’s ASB Facility to Tohorā House for their first meeting this year. Bike Northland provided those members without bicycles and helmets what they needed for the ride, and Sport Northland gave the group a health and safety briefing before they took to the cycle paths on a sunny morning in March for the ride from Kensington to Maunu.
Bart and Louisa are excited to have the opportunity to sit on the Executive and highlight how physical activity can reduce the burden of disease in Northland and improve our community’s health outcomes.
Taking the initiative to cycle to this first meeting also helped those who took part to gather intel for one of the NSC’s long-term plans to improve the walking and cycling networks in Whangarei to enable safe physical activity spaces.