An exercise class initially set up for 16 Pacific Health Service Porirua workers is now attracting up to 100 people with its flavour of Island aerobics.
Pacific Health’s manager Eleni Mason said the classes were introduced to keep staff healthy and in shape.
‘‘We need to be showing that we’re actually doing things for ourselves as well. So we started an aerobics class in the opportunity centre for 16 of our workers two days a week. Then we had some of our patients come to us and say they wanted to join in because they couldn’t afford to go to the gym.’’
Ms Mason said the classes have become so popular in the last year they have to hire out the Te Akapuanga Hall to cater for expanding numbers.
Classes have taken on a different dimension since the international South American exercise programme Zumba reached Kiwi shores, she said.
‘‘We had to find something to attract our people and they prefer to hear the Pacific music. When the Zumba came out we thought well, we can still do the Zumba, but Pacific style.’’
She said it is especially pleasing to see different generations exercising together.
‘‘ It’s fantastic, our doctors have said they’ve seen a real difference in some of our patients who come to the classes. A lot of them tell us they’ve been needing something like this in Cannons Creek for a long time. Now we’re wanting to extend the programme to five days a week . . . so more can come along,’’ Ms Mason said.
The free classes start at 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Catchy beats: Pacific Health Services Porirua’s aerobics classes, fusing Zumba with a Pacific sensibility, have proved popular among the Cannons Creek community. They pack the Te Akapuanga Hall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.