Students of Tokarara Primary School during World Health Day and International Day of Sport.

A healthy way to learn in PNG

Students of Tokarara Primary School in Port Moresby recently celebrated two international days with Development Officers from NRL PNG's League Bilong Laif, Cricket PNG, and representatives from the PNG Olympic Committee.

The combined sessions where held on World Health Day (7th April), but had the grade three and four students observing the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace as well, given its significance to the program and sessions being run.

In recognition of both days, League Bilong Laif in conjunction with Cricket PNG, and the PNG Olympic Committee through their Olympic Values Education Program and Athletes Commission, celebrated the day with key messages and fun activities for the students. 

With this year's World Health Day theme focussed on halting the rise of diabetes through prevention and treatment, students learned the importance of respecting one’s body and developing healthy eating habits to avoid the deadly disease. They also took part in rugby league and cricket games.

"It was important for children to develop healthy minds and to learn to respect their body," Mark Mom, NRL PNG's In-Country-General Manager, said.

"Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, which basically means it can be prevented if we make the right choice with the type of food we eat and how much we exercise. That’s why it’s important we engage children in such activities to encourage them to make informed decisions for a healthy and productive life.

"This is a great opportunity to observe two important dates on the international calendar because we are focussed on promoting children's wellbeing by encouraging healthy habits. Likewise, as a Sport for Development Organisation, we recognise the overarching influence sports can have on our young people, particularly for a game like rugby league. Our aim is to use the game to instil positive behavioural change.

"NRL PNG is pleased to work collectively with our program partners to deliver the educational component of the session," he added.

International Day of Sports for Development and Peace which falls on 6th April was adopted by the United Nations in recognition of the positive influence sports has as a tool for development.