Kelston Boys High School has 750 students, 20% of whom are Maori and 59% Pacific. 

The School has a strong set of values which provide an excellent foundation for its academic, cultural and sporting endeavours.  One of these core values is to foster and encourage healthy lifestyles for the students, particularly given the link between health and wellbeing and academic performance. 

As part of this, the School has been working to promote the uptake of water as the drink of choice. Drinking sufficient amounts of water can lead to improved physical health, reduced dental issues and improved cognition among children and adolescents.

The School held a ‘Walk for Water’ fundraiser where 700 students and staff walked a 3 km route around Kelston.  Proceeds from the 'Walk for Water' fundraiser went towards the School's new hydration station designed to make water both more attractive and more accessible.  Students, whanau and staff were also provided with branded drink bottles highlighting the School’s values and the slogan ‘100% Kelston 100% Tap Water’. This fundraiser was unique in that it was based on physical activity where usually school fundraisers are based around bake sales or selling chocolate. 

Principal Brian Evan says, "At the end of the day we want our students to be make choices that help them keep fit and healthy. Drinking water helps our students learn and keep active”.

Others have got in behind the School including Che Fu, Dr Fizz, Watercare and the School’s Board of Trustees. Two of the School’s old boys also volunteered their time to install the hydration station in the main courtyard of the School.

In addition to this fundraising activity, the School also reviewed their Food, Nutrition and Beverages Policy to include statements around education and aligning the canteen menu with Waitemata District Health Board’s guidelines.

Massey High School in West Auckland, home to over 2100 students, heard about Kelston Boys High School’s Walk for Water and have also started finding ways to encourage students to drink water as the best choice.

Healthy Families Waitakere supported Kelston Boys High School in their journey to motivate the next generation to enhance their performance inside and outside the classroom by drinking 100% fresh, clean, cold water.

“It’s a great example of what Healthy Families NZ is all about – community leadership enabling transformational change in the places we live, learn, work and play. Being well hydrated is linked to better learning outcomes and being a pro water school for students is a great start,” says Healthy Families Waitakere Manager, Kerry Allan.

Watch the story on Maori Television here