Pedometer programme inspires students to keep on track
It is not unusual to see Remy Copeland skipping, hopping and running around the playground.
The eight-year-old Mt Eden Normal Primary School pupil is trying to take enough steps to complete a trip around the country.
He was one of around 300 children at his school who received a free pedometer from triathlete Hamish Carter on Monday.
More than 100,000 children around the country will receive the pedometers as part of the My Greatest Feat programme.
Sponsored by McDonald’s, it aims to encourage children to be more physically active while learning about the upcoming Olympics in Bejing.
They will spend three weeks trying to walk the same distance as a trip around New Zealand and track their progress online.
Remy says having a pedometer is “so much fun”.
“I’ve been jumping around and shaking just so I can get double points,” he says.
“It’s fun to get high steps and beat your friends.”
Students from 1000 schools around the country have registered for My Greatest Feat so far.
The programme was launched at Mt Eden Normal Primary this week and will officially begin on July 21 and run for three weeks leading up to the Olympics.
Studies show primary school age girls need to take about 12,000 steps a day and boys 15,000 steps a day to ensure they remain in the healthy body mass index range and pedometers will help them to keep track.
Carter is the spokesman for the project.
He says the programme is a great opportunity for children to get more active and learn about the Olympics at the same time.
“My love of sport started at my local school and I’ve never looked back,” he says.
“Anything that gets kids really excited about being active is just fantastic.”
Managing director Mark Hawthorne says My Greatest Feat is another way McDonald’s is helping encourage New Zealand children to get active
“This is a great chance to inspire a new generation of Kiwis to achieve their goals and to enjoy getting moving,” he says.
Teacher Susan Bourke is amazed at how enthusiastic the children have been about the programme.
“It allows them to learn about the Olympics in a meaningful and exciting way. It just took off and they love it so much.”
For more information, visit the website www. mygreatestfeat.org.
Big step: Children at Mt Eden Normal Primary school show off their new pedometers. They are taking part in the My Greatest Feat programme sponsored by McDonald’s.