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Sport Whanganui has had a busy first quarter for 2021. The team were heavily engaged with the Downer New Zealand Masters Games in February, and, in March, Sport Whanganui held the Whanganui Secondary Schools Athletics Championship.  Both events provided opportunities to support athletes from 12 to 94 years of age and strengthen relationships in the community.

From a broader perspective, Sport Whanganui’s mahi is providing opportunities for people to understand and work with the shifting paradigms in the sports, activity, and wellbeing sectors. A change in paradigm comes about by listening to the voice of a community and making changes to reflect that collective voice. We encourage you, when the call for workshops come through from the team, to be part of the mahi that can create change.

Ngā mihi

Sport Whanganui management
Representatives from Whanganui District Health Board, Whanganui Public Health Centre WDHB, Whanganui Stop Smoking Service, and Sport Whanganui met to discuss ways we support our community health and wellbeing with the mahi we are each involved in.
It’s important for each organisation to know what is available across the health and wellbeing sector, ways we can support each other, to improve what we are delivering to the community.  As a collective we all share a vision to create health nutrition and physical activity and mental wellbeing for our Whanganui community. If you would like to be part of the group, contact:
Deb Byers
Active Wellbeing Manager
Phone: 06 349 2325 | Mobile: 027589 4440

Living with the pain of knee or hip damage can have a significant impact on a person’s life, physically and socially. If the person needs to meet certain criteria to be fit for surgery, the journey looks like a mountain to be climbed. My role as Fit for Surgery Navigator is all about assisting people to meet that criteria, by developing a care plan to reach their goals for surgery and supporting them through the plan.  With a plan in hand, the mountain becomes a less arduous journey, and with support, not one taken alone.

My name is Christine Taylor, I’m a Registered Nurse and I work for Sport Whanganui as the Fit for Surgery Navigator. It’s a role I love, not only because I have a passion for health and wellbeing, but because I get to meet courageous people every day, who do the mahi to make massive life changes. I feel very privileged to develop solutions by working alongside people and witness the hard work they put in to fulfil their care plan.

Dr Marco Meijer began lobbying the Whanganui District Health Board identifying the need to raise the awareness of the risks associated with surgery when a patient has a high BMI. It was clear there was a need for a programme to support these patients to ensure safer surgical outcomes. WDHB and Whanganui Regional Health Network worked together to develop a clinical pathway.

The project team grew to include Sport Whanganui as the community link for the programme user. Sport Whanganui proved the right fit to establish the programme which includes weight management options, diet, exercise, behavior therapy elements and self-management. There is also the ability to utilise existing funded programmes and services including green prescription, dietitian, psychology and self-management programmes. 

Besides developing safer surgical outcomes for people, the programme can decrease the number of elective surgeries needed. Many people find that the lifestyle changes made are enough to fix the problem and choose not to have surgery. Fit for Surgery is now in its third successful year, and the programme continues to evolve to be more integrated into the community. With a collaborative approach, Fit for Surgery will be opened to include other elective surgeries. 
Christine Taylor finds the InBody Bioscan a useful tool that takes body composition measurements.
The baseline measurement and repeat measurements, enables the client and Christine to see the success of the care plan.
Sport Whanganui’s Active Wellbeing team are promoting Men’s Health Week – June 15-21. If your organisation would like to collaborate with the team, that would be great. Mahi tahi is the way to make positive change.
Contact Deb Byers
Active Wellbeing Manager
Phone: 06 349 2325 | Mobile: 027589 4440
Sport Whanganui officially launched the 9 to 5 Thrive Workplace Wellbeing programme in January 2021. The programme is customisable, to work with an organisation’s work schedules, and benefits the whole team; managers to administrators, and everything in between.

Taking care of ourselves by eating a healthy well-balanced diet, getting enough movement in our day and making time for some form of mindfulness is important. It helps us to have healthier conversations and relationships with others, and we also manage stress better and feel motivated.

The employer benefits include improved retention, reduced sickness absence. Employee benefits include improved individual health and wellbeing, increased energy and motivation, and increased resilience to stressful situations.

We have based 9 to 5 Thrive on a three-pillared approach: Nourish, Restore and Energize.

The Restore pillar focuses on mental health, by offering tips on mindfulness, stress and sleep support and begins with a WOF Health Check that involves a health assessment.

The Nourish pillar is all about understanding the core principles of a healthy diet, and how to fit it into your busy workdays. We deliver a nutrition seminar that teaches healthier eating habits, and fun interactive snack demonstrations and practical sessions on meal planning.

The energize sessions are designed to get the heart rate up, build strength and muscular endurance, improve flexibility, and most importantly have fun. We offer a variety of movement options from high energy Boxfit classes to yoga. Concentrate on one movement option or build a programme that offers a variety. The workout intensity is dependent on the level of fitness of the participants. Each exercise has an easier and more challenging option.

If you want to know more about Sport Whanganui’s 9 to 5 Thrive programme, contact
Rachael Lynch - Wellness Coach
(06) 349 2312

Click here for more information on 9 to 5 Thrive

Green Prescription is a free health and wellness support service available throughout New Zealand.
We have designed a new link showing contact details for Green Prescription providers across all areas of New Zealand and encourage all communities to ask their GP, practice nurse or other healthcare professional to make a direct referral.
Referrals can be emailed to
We are here to support you and your patients in our communities to get more active, improve their health, lifestyle, medical conditions and to encourage exercise wellbeing for stress and depression. 

Deb Byers
Active Wellbeing Manager
Phone: 06 349 2325 | Mobile: 027589 4440
Sarah Whayman from Green Prescription, in conjunction with Inspire Health and Fitness, hold supervised community Cardio and Strength classes 11:00am each Monday and Thursday.  
These social classes are supported by Green Prescription and are specifically aimed to help people with cardiac and respiratory conditions to improve their health, general fitness and well-being. 

Please call Sarah on 06 349 2328 for more detailed information. 

We have workouts for clients to do at home with little or no equipment needed - suitable for all levels.
The Green Prescription team provide professional exercises for clients and whanau to maintain regular daily exercise at home.


Deb Byers – Active Wellbeing Manager
06 349 2325 

Sarah Whayman – Green Prescription Advisor 
06 349 2328 

Christine Taylor – Fit for Surgery Navigator 
06 349 2507 

Rachael Lynch - Wellness Coach 
06 349 2312

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Sport Whanganui · Sport Whanganui · 226 London Street, Springvale Park PO Box 516 · Whanganui, Mwt 4500 · New Zealand

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