A leading sports figure hopes a new outdoor track in Kilbirnie will encourage the community to lead active lifestyles - and perhaps even pursue sport long-term.
Two-time mountain running champion Melissa Moon - whose love of running has taken her on stair-climbing races up the Empire State Building - spoke of the importance of keeping active at the opening of a new community track around the outside of the ASB Sports Centre.
Ms Moon, who grew up in the area, said she hoped the 400m-long, two-lane track would encourage the community to lead healthy lifestyles.
''It's a fantastic way to motivate the community to be active.
''Being active as a child was facilitiated and made easier by facilities in Kilbirnie ... Kilbirnie Park was where it all began for me.''
Ms Moon said walking or jogging around the track for 30 minutes, three times a week was enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who opened the track, said she tried to keep active whenever possible - most notably, by bike.
''How do you think I got here today? That's how I got my 20 minutes.
''I do get a little bit of help because it's electric, but I do keep pedalling."
Pupils of Evans Bay Intermediate School put the track through its paces with a relay race and a time trial.
Distance runner Hamish Carson, who won the ISC Lenco half marathon last weekend, ran the track in just under a minute.
Carson also led Silver Ferns Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Katrina Grant to victory in a relay race against New Zealand Basketball's Dion Prewster, Troy McLean and Tim O'Neill.
Members of the Wellington Saints basketball team and Pulse netball team were also present.
ASB covered the cost of the $123,000 track as part of its sponsorship agreement with the indoor sports centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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