PATU Aotearoa has held its inaugural PATU at Pania Event in Napier this morning. More than 300 people from different parts of the country turned up to promote living an active lifestyle that will help reduce obesity amongst whānau.
Before dawn on a Saturday morning and more than 300 whānau are ready to pound the pavement at Napier's Marine Parade.
PATU Aotearoa director Levi Armstrong says “We planned a 5km, 10km walk or run it's just about the whānau setting small goals, achievable goals and eventually we want to do 30km by the end of the year.”
“Hopefully we're proving that exercise is for everybody but it's just how they embrace it and hopefully we got the right tool for that,” says co-founder of PATU, Jackson Waerea.
Participants have come from near and far as part of the wider PATU gym family.
“The Patu kaupapa as it stands alone is awesome and it invites every one of all ages and abilities to come and do this today whether it's the hīkoi or a run. Just all the support from all over the motu has been awesome,” says facilitator, Kia Diamond.
Tikanga Māori is at the heart of PATU with the aim of getting people healthy to help reduce obesity and diabetes rates.
“Half of our Māori and Pacific adult population are considered obese....but I suppose just getting them in the door is a start ... so if we can get two of those whānau members in the gym that is going a long way to smashing some of those stats,” says Waerea.
Today marks the first step for many here to begin their journey to a healthier future.