When Tomarata School gave HUNGERBALL a test play, the country kids loved it, and it was immediately apparent that the infinite game provided healthy and active learning experiences.
The school principal, Cherylene Neels, said in 2020, she wanted to see how HUNGERBALL would engage the children and how it aligned with the school values.
“We had thought about building a similar concrete structure, but there were health and safety issues,” says Cherylene.
“HUNGERBALL catered for more students of all ages and abilities at the same time, and the kids loved it.”
Like all schools, a few children sometimes struggled during playtimes, and when HUNGERBALL was in action, they were immersed in physical activity that required collaboration.
HUNGERBALL is high-energy, and players were not left standing around waiting for a turn.
“We have some students with special needs, and I thought they may have been overwhelmed, but it was the opposite.”
Players didn’t need to move as far as they would if playing football on a big field, and no one’s skill level impacted their ability to play.
The northern Rodney school is located within the greater Auckland region and was locked down for many weeks due to Covid restrictions in August 2021.
When the children returned to classes, Cherylene was keen to bring back HUNGERBALL because she knew it would be an inclusive way to get them back into school life.
With help from the Sport 2.0 Trust, the school was offered a week of FREE HUNGERBALL fun battles.
“It definitely helped with the transition after lockdown, when our focus was on making school fun.”
To meet Covid requirements, HUNGERBALL rules were changed, there were fewer players in the arena, and it was outside and well-ventilated.
“HUNGERBALL games align with Tomarata School’s grow values, especially learning through mistakes and respecting each other with empathy and understanding,” says Cherylene.
The school shared the HUNGERBALL fun with the community during their monthly whānau night, when parents got in the arena with the kids, and at the school’s legendary fireworks night.
The children want to know when HUNGERBALL is coming back, and there are plans underway to collaborate with the smaller schools in the Rodney rural schools collective.
HUNGERBALL can’t wait to be back as well.