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Osteoporosis New Zealand Inc

Wellington Athlete a Winner Again

Osteoporosis NZ Chair Mrs Claire Mackintosh with Mr Barry Everitt - 2004 You Deserve a Medal recipient and The Hon. Ruth Dyson, Minister for ACC and Assoc. Minister of Health

Ms Ruth Dyson hosted the 2004 You Deserve a EMdal Awards at Parliament on 16 September and acknowledged that her portfolios - Minister for ACC - Associate Minister of Health – Minister of Women’s Affairs, Minister for Senior Citizens and Minister for Disability Issues certainly qualify her to be unofficial ‘Minister for Osteoporosis.’

Applicants for the ‘You Deserve a Medal’ awards do not have to have osteoporosis but should set an example and contribute to their community by being physically active. Two people aged over 65 years were presented with medals, in recognition of their continuing active lifestyle and the contribution they make to their communities.

Being “ fit for life” not only increases general well being, it helps prevent falls - the number one cause of injuries in older people – by improving balance and muscle strength. Regular exercise also slows bone loss and reduces the risk of osteoporosis – a disease that affects approx 1 in 3 New Zealand women and 1 in 8 New Zealand men over the age of 60.

ONZ Chairperson Claire Mackintosh says “Osteoporosis New Zealand wants to encourage older people to stay physically active for their bone health and general well being, “You Deserve a Medal” applauds ordinary New Zealanders in their senior years who lead active and productive lives regardless of their age – people who inspire others by their example.”

Barry Everitt, a Wellingtonian, received the ‘You Deserve a Medal’ Award. This is not the first medal Barry has won, having been a competitive athlete for most of his life, at 67 he runs every day and still competes regularly. He has held many junior and senior Wellington records for distance races.

His experience means he is often asked to help coach runners and one of his latest successes was coaching a young man for the national championships for the Special Olympics.

Mrs Johanna Van Rooyen of Ashburton was also a‘You Deserve a Medal.' She was nominated by Fraser Palmer-Hesketh, saying: “Johanna is a striking ambassador of the rewards achievable by regular exercise.”
Johanna’s efforts over many years include swimming three times a week, aerobics and more recently Tai Chi to improve her balance. She says, “To live means to keep fit! I need to look after myself. Life means health.”


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