South Auckland teachers learn about Village Games 

50 South Auckland teachers recently had the opportunity to learn about traditional Pasifika games to incorporate into their respective school curricular. 

The Village Games movement, established by Healthy Families South Auckland (HFSA), was part of the agenda at the Healthy Active Learning Opportunity (HALO) Day event run by CLM Community Sport in May.  This event is part of Healthy Active Learning, a national initiative to promote the well-being of children and young people through healthy eating, drinking, and quality physical activity. It is a joint initiative between Sport New Zealand, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education. 

Teachers from across the region attended the HALO Day to receive professional learning and development support to enhance the delivery of health and physical education activities for tamariki (children) in their school. 

The opportunity to deliver the Village Games workshops at the HALO Day emerged from the ongoing collaboration between HFSA and CLM Community Sport with successful funding from the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund for the Village Games Festival that was held during term one with four Ōtara primary schools. 

“We received strong feedback from teachers after previous HALO Days events that schools wanted to learn more traditional Pasifika games,” says Victoria Pone, Healthy Active Learning Community Connector at CLM Community Sport. 

“We decided to showcase traditional Pasifika games in our latest HALO Day.  It was an opportunity for teachers and schools to learn how they could incorporate Village Games into curriculum, break times and language week activities through a cultural and inclusive approach. This was also to help schools deepen their connections with students through cultural play.” 

“CLM Community Sport is the regional delivery partner for Aktive, responsible for play, active recreation, and sport within the Counties Manukau region. We work across diverse community settings including Pasifika. If we can use traditional Pasifika games, culture and language as the vehicle to get young people active in South Auckland, then it significantly enhances their health, wellbeing and sense of identity.” she says. 

As part of the HALO Days seminars, three village games were taught to the teachers by HFSA movement and sport team – Lape (Samoa), Heu (Tonga) and Te Bwanni (Kiribati). 

Pita Alatini, Lead Systems Innovator for Movement and Sport at Healthy Families South Auckland, mentions that this is a significant step in getting Village Games into schools. 

“It was fantastic to see all the teachers participate and have fun like our kids did in Village Games Festival,” he says. 

“Teachers will be able to utilise Village Games to give our Pacific kids a sense of belonging to games that their parents, grandparents and ancestors played in their respective homelands. Although we have modified the games to suit the age and skill ability level, it promotes cultural values, language, and connection.”