Project Energize is a Waikato DHB funded health initiative into schools and is not national.
Only Waikato DHB area schools are involved, although some trials in the far North and Counties Manukau area are being initiated to see if similar results can be achieved in other areas of New Zealand.
In 2011 an evaluation identified a number of health improvements for children in schools who were a part of the project:
- A smaller waist circumference
- Faster running times for 550m
- Improved attitudes towards healthy eating
Project Energize now involves over 230 schools and close to 30 Project Energizers in the Waikato Hauraki area.
The aim is to increase the amount and quality of physical activity, and to improve the nutritional status of primary school aged children in the Waikato Hauraki area.
Target groups include:
- Primary school aged children
- Lower decile schools
- Schools with a higher percentage of Māori students
- Their whānau and the wider school community
As shown in the results of the 2011 evaluation, Project Energize is proving to make a positive impact on the health of children. School staff are being supported to make time to focus on the importance of healthy eating and daily physical activity in their schools.
As Project Energize is an initiative with Sport Waikato into Waikato Hauraki schools, the normal referral process does not apply for this service.