Wellington Rugby League has introduced a new initiative this season to promote health and well-being. Juniors who receive the player of the day prize will now be awarded free passes to the Hutt City Council swimming pools, steering away from the fast food vouchers.
Parents and children have taken a liking to this reward which also has the Wellington Rugby League community excited.
Wellington Rugby League (WRL) general manager David Faiumu says, "It's just a nice touch after, like I said, Saturday mornings. They've put all the hard work during the week and just to say here's a certificate for all your hard work during the week."
Healthy Families of Lower Hutt approached WRL with the idea and offered the council's swimming pool facilities as an alternative for these young players.
"What a great initiative to get all our families, all our kids, our parents our clubs and all our members on board with it. Just to give an alternative to some of the player certificates they've done in the past like with McDonalds, KFC and Burger King and things like that."
Faiumu, who represented New Zealand from 2005 to 2007, says there are no plans from Kiwi to implement this into the older grades; however WRL is open to establishing something similar.
"To be honest, I haven't thought about that, but maybe a discount of [fuel], maybe some petrol vouchers, gym memberships and things like that. So those are things that we can have a look at."
Wainuiomata raised Faiumu is also active in the 'Be a sport' campaign which encourages parents, children, and families to be better side-line supporters.
"I know it's an amateur environment, but just getting away from the old back in the days when everyone's swearing on the side-lines drinking and smoking, that kind of atmosphere. I think those days are well behind us now."
With WRL paving the way for healthy well-being, it's only a matter of time before other regions follow their example.