To improve youth health
Through physical activity focused programmes and by so doing, help more young people to be happier and more resilient, better able to cope with emergencies and illness, to thrive at work, school and in relationships, to make the most of their leisure time and to be part of a strong and connected community.
Provide a wide range of physical activity choices and in so doing, champion and nurture diversity, inclusivity, equality and equity.
2. Low-cost options
Employ creative solutions to provide low-cost options.
Some of the greatest challenges to being healthy and fit are disinterest and apathy at one end of the spectrum and anxiety and feeling overwhelmed at the other. We seek to help people feel excited without losing them to fear.
It’s important to find the positives in people’s current health and fitness status and provide clarity on the path of growth to an even better one.
5. Community contribution
Provide avenues for people to contribute to the programmes inclusive of a culturally diverse range of end users, teachers, researchers, health and fitness professionals, parents, psychologists etc.
Support and encourage the multi-use and sharing of physical activity resources, among family, friends and communities, in order to help give more people more access to exercise and eating well and strengthen communities.
7. Stay out in front
Leaders in this area need to be adaptable and open to change, thinking in new and unique ways, working with what works yet courageous enough to step into the gaps of where it doesn’t.
Catch Fitness has a strong background in the delivery of education and health and wellness programmes since 2006.
- Organized 300 on-going educational workshops for exercise industry professionals in New Zealand, utilizing more than 200 local and international presenters.
- Was a preferred supplier to the Exercise Association of NZ for several years.
- Member of the Active Canterbury Network alongside The Heart Foundation, District Health Board, YMCA and Council representatives.
- Ran the 20 Week Health Challenge used by over 200 personal trainers and fitness clubs with some 3000 clients for more than 10 years and established Catch Fitness for Fitness Professionals in NZ and Catch Fitness For Workplaces.
Bronwyn (Broni) McSweeney
- Owner of Catch Fitness, provider of on-going education to exercise professionals since 2006.
- Advisory roles with the NZ Qualification Authority – TRoQ (Targeted Review of Qualifications) board and Active Canterbury Network.
- Reviewer and auditor of exercise industry educational courses with REPs (The Register of Exercise Professionals).
- Winner, 2011 Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award, NZ Exercise Industry Awards. Winner 2010 Lecturer of the Year, NZ Exercise Industry, Finalist Bella Mentor Award, NZ Exercise Industry.
- Judge at the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards.
- 20 years experience in the exercise industry.
- Studies include Fitness training completed at the ARA Institute of Technology, Youth Specialist Programme with the American Council on Exercise, Māori with Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Noongar Language and Culture, Curtin University.
- Presenter at conferences: GetActiveNZ, FitEx, Tonic, YMCA and the Exercise Association Business Grow.
- Lecturer on AUT (Auckland University of Technology), Tutor at ARA (The Ara Institute of Technology), the NZ Institute of Sport’s Sportzone and guest presenter at NZ Institute of Health and Fitness, Southern Institute of Technology and Te Kura Matatini ki Otago.
Thanks to all the clever people who took the time to assist in the development and roll out of this programme especially:- Stephanie Pole, Nadine Milmine, Aron Anderson, Dr Bill Sukala, Daniel Thomson, Elisa Thompson, Jan and Maree Stachel-Williamson, Dr Nick Kimber, Kristina Dzelmanis, Michael O’dea, Andrew Flanagan, Janet Davies, Jenny Fletcher, Emz Courtney, and Aiga ‘AJ‘ Pouoa.
Thanks to those who supported Catch Fitness in years gone in particular:- Kris Tynan, Richard Beddie, Stephen Gacsal, Russell Graham, Mike Catton, Jan and Maree Stachel-Williamson, Carol Hides and the Active Canterbury Network.
Huge thanks to my brothers and their families for being a constant source of support and inspiration.
How Catch Fitness For Schools came about.
The earthquake….bushfires and tsunamis!
In 2011, I was living in Christchurch, New Zealand. On the 22nd of February there was an Earthquake that killed 185 people and seriously injured another 169. Over 10,000 houses were rendered unsafe and needed to be demolished, while 100,000 homes required repairs. The city was in disarray; water and sewage pipes were badly damaged, and electricity lines were down. Some residents relied on tankers to provide them with water for months after the initial event, and many were virtually homeless, sleeping in their cars, at other people’s homes, and in garages and tents.
Incidences of anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other mental illnesses were on the rise in the aftermath of the earthquake, and would continue to be for years to come. I, and no doubt many others that were part of this event and similar ones world wide have wondered how those within our communities could be protected from the same level of suffering if another event of such magnitude were to occur again.
While the event itself and much of the destruction that went with it, were very much out of anyone’s hands, studies have shown that having less fear can alleviate post traumatic stress responses. Coming from a background of fitness I was well aware that by improving people’s base level of health and fitness and providing people with more awareness around their physical capabilities, would provide people with more choices in emergencies as well as more confidence and in so doing, result in them feeling less fear and you guessed it, reduce anxiety and resultant stress related issues. Knowing whether or not you can safely climb out a window, or whether you can hike a few kilometers with a pack, or throw your pet dog a few metres to safety. Now imagine what is now 160 activities with that at the forefront of my mind and you have Planet Kaha!
It was from this idea that Planet Kaha was born. But it took another 7 years before I’d have the time to create the programme and in that time I thought about it with every bushfire, tsunami and other events where my heart went out to people involved. Finally, Planet Kaha was ready for trial in 2019, then tweaked and released to the world just in time for Xmas 2019.
Planet Kaha is born
The activities within the programme could make for a useful checklist for everyone, but in this case they are specifically targeted towards children from the age of 10 up to earl teens. Aside from being a vulnerable group in more extreme situations, this age-range is more likely to embrace the activities with ease, and we wanted to also help curb the drop in physical activity that is so common in teenage years – so it was a good cross over. Their engagement further allows for the ideas within to be exposed to parents, teachers and other care-givers as well. It is in this way that the program may help to support a more holistic and community-based approach to health and fitness.
Kaha means strong in Māori and all the activities in the programme are about building strength of self and strength of community.
Planet Kaha has now grown to include over 160 activities. We’ve also launched the ME Time active micro break programme, the Catch Fitness School Challenge – rewarding schools for coming up with their own innovative physical activity programmes as well as the Fitness Chase event and resources to pass on to parents, all with the aim to not just aid kids in times of emergencies, but to help them leap through the rest of their lives with less anxiety, more ease and greater happiness.