The best thing after an intense workout is a cold glass of clean water. But that’s not exactly what the CLM Workout for Water week is about.

With the upgraded lane pool about to be filled at the Richmond Aquatic Centre with 742,000 litres of water, it’s safe to say that water isn’t as much a premium here as it is in some parts of the world.

It’s hard to imagine having to walk for hours just to get clean drinking water, but that’s a reality for many children in East Africa.

From Monday, 17 June, CLM Health and Fitness at the Aquatic centre will be running the Workout for Water campaign, part of a larger fundraising drive to support UNICEF’s work to provide clean drinking water to those who need it most.

The event means that anyone can attend Les Mills or Aqua classes at the Richmond Aquatic Centre for the week, for a donation towards UNICEF.

2017 was the national kick-off of the initiative where more than US $1 million was raised for water pumps in East Africa, so more children had access to clean water in their communities.

Marsha Rogers, Head Instructor of group fitness at CLM, says that the fundraiser’s goal is to create a world where every child survives and thrives, and access to clean drinking water is the way to do that.

Funds raised through Workout for Water will help to complete solar- powered water systems in the villages of Lega and Yelam Gej in Ethiopia.

While locals get to enjoy the new lane pool at the Aquatic Centre, water isn’t as easily available in places like Ethiopia, and the effect of a clean water supply can be life-changing for kids.

For many children, especially girls, walking four hours to bring buckets of water home for the family is a daily reality. The journey can be dangerous, and often prevents kids from being able to get to school.

Even when kids are able to go to school, they are often unable to focus, as they are too tired from walking for hours to collect water.

And if the water is dirty, it leads to disease and under-nutrition.

Now, it’s about getting the local community involved.

UNICEF New Zealand Executive Director Vivien Maidaborn says the solar-powered water systems in Ethiopia will give thousands of children access to clean, safe and sustainable water that can help them to grow up healthy and strong.

“This year we want our community to be part of this, too,” Marsha said.

CLM Marketing Co-ordinator Crystal Gaiger says that the week is an opportunity for people of all fitness levels to go and enjoy group fitness workouts set to fresh music.

“And you get that special buzz from knowing that you’re helping others and making a difference.”

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