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Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ announces South Island tour

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ announces that the 'Sailor the Puffer Fish' South Island tour will kick off this week. This is the first time the asthma educational show will tour the South Island educating pre-school and primary aged children about asthma. Over 80 schools will be visited during the three month tour from the top of the South Island in Nelson right down to Bluff and Invercargill deep in the South.

The tour is an educational musical show performed alongside entertainer Chris Lam Sam to communicate a serious message to children in a fun, lively and entertaining way. It's about raising awareness and educating kids about asthma - the show includes tips on how to manage asthma, what to do in an emergency and how you can help your friends.

Teresa Demetriou, Head of Education and Research at Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, comments: "This is the first time we have been able to offer the show to the South Island, and we are really pleased to be able to do this thanks to our supporters. Last year we ran a hugely successful North Island tour which had excellent feedback. We received real life examples of how people helped others with an asthma attack after seeing the show. It's a sad fact that one in seven children have asthma in New Zealand and therefore we are really focussing on helping to support and educate children in school. This tour is especially significant as we are reaching a lot of small rural schools, who often miss out on such events. Plus, it ties in with World Asthma Day on 1 May 2018."

The show begins in the Nelson and Marlborough area and will then go onto the Christchurch region, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Bluff and finishing off in Queenstown. The first school was in Nelson on 9 April and after visiting over 80 schools will finish in Queenstown at the end of June.

The show has already proven to be effective and in 2017 the show visited 77 schools and educated over 14,000 children in the North Island. Every school who is performed to will be invited to be certified as an Asthma Friendly School. To qualify, the schools will need an asthma policy and a first aid kit containing an up-to-date reliever inhaler. "The certification means parents and caregivers can identify which schools have staff that are educated, and know what steps to take in an asthma emergency," says Letitia O'Dwyer, Chief Executive of Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ.

Letitia O'Dwyer, adds: "It's fantastic that we can now offer this to our South Island schools. It's a brilliant show that every primary school in New Zealand should see. Asthma is a serious issue in New Zealand and the more people we educate about it the better, and what better way to start than with our children."

Chris Lam Sam, entertainer and performer for the show, comments: "I can't wait to start the South Island tour. What a vital educational show this is, it not only helps to save lives, but the kids have an enormous amount of fun too. We'll have laughter, giggles, shouting and audience participation. The tour has been funded by donations given to the Foundation. "Keeping this education free for schools and early childhood centres plays a large part in Sailor's ongoing success," adds Chris Lam Sam.

If you are interested in becoming a certified Asthma Friendly School then please email the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ

And, for more information about the Sailor the Puffer Fish tour or donating for future tours please visit or

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