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An initiative to increase sports participation rates among primary and secondary school pupils has won Kaikorai Valley College a national award.
The New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council Innovation in School Sport Award was presented to Kaikorai Valley College assistant sports co-ordinator Neil Mackenzie during a special assembly yesterday.
It was for the school's annual sponsored run/walk along Kaikorai Valley Rd, which has raised more than $60,000 in the past three years, and the Sports Expo in which pupils from the school and surrounding primary schools experience different sports, ranging from Zumba to ice hockey.
The initiative increased sports participation rates at the college by 9% in 2013, and has resulted in the establishment of many new sports clubs, including judo, table tennis and badminton.
On Tuesday afternoons, years 7 and 8 pupils from surrounding primary schools visit the college for table tennis and badminton coaching, and compete in a table tennis competition on Thursday afternoons.
Principal Rick Geerlofs said it was an honour for the school to receive the award - one of two in New Zealand. He praised Mr Mackenzie for his part in the school's achievement.
''It recognises the massive contribution by Neil. The number of hours he has put in to sport at the school over the years has been massive.''
Hornby High School, in Christchurch, also received the award.