Faiva Ora Innovation fund project: P.A.C.E Pasifika Active Choice Exercise
The majority of PACE participants reported improved physical fitness abilities, an increase in community connectedness and participation and believed their overall wellbeing improved from this project.
PHAB Pasifika is a branch of PHAB located in South Auckland that uses a Fono Fale model to engage our Pasifika youth and adults with disabilities. PHAB Pasifika was launched in 2012 after extensive consultation with our community and stakeholders. PHAB Pasifika are grateful to receive significant ongoing support from our community – from education providers to social service providers to church and community groups.
In early 2018 PHAB Pasifika launched a new and innovative pilot project called PACE – Pasifika Active Choice Exercise. PACE was based on an award-winning health and fitness programme modified for our Pasifika members. PACE supported a young man with disabilities – Mathew Ngametua to run the pilot project. PACE provided Mathew with training opportunities working alongside a registered physiotherapist and extended Mathew’s professional experience. Mathew is studying to be a personal trainer and PHAB Pasifika were proud to offer Mathew this opportunity.
People with disabilities often have increased bariers to living a healthy, active lifestyle and therefore benefit from a supportive environment. PACE aims to foster a sense of community and networks where our Pasifika young people can come together and share their goals and health progress with their peers. PACE aimed to support our Pasifika people to lead innovation and take ownership, empowered our Pasifika people to have a voice, strengthen natural supports whilst at the same time reducing negative stigma and increasing meaningful partition.
PACE was delivered on Saturday mornings to approximately 12 young people every week. Each session was broken down into two rounds of exercise split with a nutrition tutorial in between. All exercises were fully accessible and tailored to the needs of each individual. The exercise component focused on increasing cardiovascular fitness, strength, conditioning, balance and coordination, and encouraged physical activity in the home and with peers. Nutrition classes focused on reducing sugar and unhealthy fats in the diet, and explored healthier food choices and cooking methods. PACE used real world examples and provided the opportunity for participants to share their progress with their peers.
Over 90% of participants would like to see the project continued but have suggested small changes such as running the project in the warmer summer months, changing the setting – such as holding PACE in local parks – and incorporating more cultural activities such as Pasifika dance and music to reach a greater number of participants.
– Miranda Davis & Kramer Hoeflich from PHAB Pasifika –