DANCING FOR ASTHMA: (Left to right) Christina Snook, Asthma Foundation educator Amanda Hirst, Korowai Aroha nurse Kath Holmes, Summa Broadmore, Sylvia Mathew. (Photo: STEPHEN PARKER)
A whole lot of boogying was going on at yesterday’s Dance 4 Asthma event at Rotorua’s City Focus.
To mark Asthma Awareness Week and the Balloon Day appeal, prizes were on offer for those brave enough to show off their skills on the “dance floor” – a piece of lino donated by Bunnings.
The event was organised by the Rotorua branch of the Asthma Foundation and Maori health provider Korowai Aroha to raise awareness of a disease that affects one in four New Zealand children.
The central city was rocking to the sound of Everything’s Going to be Alright by Kiwi band Babysitters Circus – chosen as the theme song because the band’s lead singer suffers from asthma.
Christina Snook was just minding her own business when she got dragged up for a dance, but she didn’t seem to mind too much.
It was fun,” she said.
She was joined by Rotorua Girls High students Summa Broadmore, 13, and Sylvia Mathew, 17, making the most of an afternoon off school. Both girls were rewarded for their efforts with prizes – passes to the Agrodome and Zorb – as well as a few facts about asthma.
Those passing by were encouraged to try to blow up a balloon until it popped, reinforcing the message that one in four children struggle to blow up a balloon.
Jackie Thompson, joining in on her lunch break, didn’t manage to pop her balloon but did pretty well, given she is an asthmatic.
She said she helped to keep her asthma under control with regular visits to Te Korowai Aroha nurse Kath Holmes.
Ms Holmes said the event was about educating the community and “keeping kids out of hospital”.
About 550,000 school days are lost every year to asthma. About 15000 Bay of Plenty children under 15 suffer from the disease.