The Walking Samoans is a fitness initiative spreading across the Auckland region with aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of Samoan communities.
Local boards are supporting these groups as needed, often in the form of grants towards uniforms and sports shoes.
Initiated by Radio Samoa in 2013, the station encourages listeners to sign up to their local walking group, as a good way for Samoan families to take control of their own health as a family unit. The groups have now spread across the region as far south Clendon, through to Avondale in the North.
“The Walking Samoans is a successful community initiative of Radio Samoa with the support of the Auckland Council,” explains Teleiai Edwin Puni, Director of Walking Samoans.
"A number of our walking clubs have the use of council facilities for their health and community developments."
In 2018, Maungakiekie Tāmaki Local Board awarded their local Walking Samoan Tamaki Group with a $5000 grant which went towards group uniforms.
“We get a lot of feedback about how seeing this group around the community helps everyone feel safer and more connected,” says Chris Makoare, Chair of Maungakiekie Tāmaki Local Board.
“It’s a good example of how the local board is able to support our diverse communities to be empowered to deliver what it is that they know will work for their communities."
For more information on the Walking Samoans visit their Facebook page.