Leisure Centres vary in their facilities and approach, and we set out to visit those which cater to the whole population rather than merely a small number of elite athletes: though the latter certainly make good use of such centres!
We believe that similar centres in New Zealand
would bring great benefits.
Local Government in New Zealand has no responsibility for individual health and cannot fund centres without large increases in rates. Health is funded nationally so improved health offers no incentive to councils. However, properly promoted and integrated with existing Health and Social Services, such centres will reduce overall Government expenditure after a few years.
“Green Prescriptions” are fine, but there's usually no “Green Pharmacy” to dispense them: that is, no suitable place or facilities to do the exercise prescribed. Walking outdoors is excellent but not always possible, and can be dangerous. Supervision is desirable for some people in case of a medical emergency. Leisure Centres should be designed for the average person but would benefit New Zealand's top sports, as more people would realise their potential given the opportunity. They are a social focal point and encourage social cohesion, breaking down many barriers between ages. Older people can be mentors to younger. Some of our social problems will be reduced, too. READ ON....
ARE WE THE FITTEST NATION ON EARTH? IF NOT, WHY NOT?