They started with 10 members in March this year and now have a membership of 450.
The Botany and Flat Bush Ethnic Association, to promote wellness and promote diversity and harmony in a fast developing area, is thriving with activities.
The idea of the ethnic non-profit association in the area was first mooted by Howick Local Board member for Botany, Peter Young.
“There are a lot of people who feel alienated in the area and this is a good opportunity for multicultural communities to come together and exercise, participate in cultural and sporting activities and even do gardening together,” says Mr Young, president of the Botany and Flat Bush Association.
There is no fee to join the association.
“Locals can join the ethnic association free of charge through WhatsApp or WeChat app. We’ve also started a monthly newsletter that informs members of the various activities for the month. We would like our membership to go up to 1000.”
Will Lu, vice president of the association, says they’ve had four consecutive weeks of group exercise and the turnout has far exceeded expectations.
“ It’s amazing that every Saturday morning people get up early despite the cold and miserable weather and are there to exercise together.
“Fitness is not just a set of exercises or a strict daily routine, it’s a lifestyle, a positive vibe that we want to pass on to everyone in the community,” he says.
The ethnic association has also hosted talks by wellness experts including Dr James Lu, with another one scheduled on June 16 at 1pm at the Kotahi Botany Life community Centre.
The talk ‘Your body is what you eat’ will be preceded by mid-winter lunch at 272 Ti Rakau Drive Burswood, for a cost of $15per person. There’s free lunch for children under 16.
In addition to the wellness programmes, co-vice president Karim Al-baya says they have joined hands with New Zealand Indoor Badminton Centre in Dannemora which allows them to book three courts at a time, any time in the week.
“We have small teams for badminton and table tennis matches and aim to get more teams together.”
The badminton court also provides an indoor space for group exercise during winter and rainy days.
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