Bernadette Smith from In2hula Bernadette Smith from In2hula CREDIT: Etta Images Photography
The Successful 2008 NZ Record Hooping in Cathedral Square The Successful 2008 NZ Record Hooping in Cathedral Square CREDIT: Supplied

Hula Hooping in Great Heart As NZ Record in Sights

Wednesday 13 June 2018, 10:49AM
By RedPR


Wresting a New Zealand hula hooping record from the deep south will be a key part of the Super Heart Hoop-Off in October. Registrations open on June 18th at a special launch.

In 2008 in Christchurch, a fun and fitness organisation called In2Hula was started by Bernadette Smith and her husband Grant. They got the ball rolling (or the hoop hooping) by taking away a New Zealand record after 60 people continuously hooped for at least 2 minutes. However in 2009, 150 people hula hooped the record away and it headed to Invercargill.

Bernadette Smith says the October 28th Super Heart Hoop-Off, to be held in Christchurch’s Hagley Park, is more than only about the record breaking attempt.

“This is a charity event to raise funding for The Heart Foundation, and to help support and raise awareness of heart health,” she says. “It will also be a combined celebration of the Heart Foundation 50th Anniversary, and In2hula’s 10th Anniversary.”

The theme for the Super Heart Hoop-Off is Super Heroes and dressing up is highly encouraged.  Super hero back-drop banners will be available for the public to take their own photos in front of. Flat Man, Dark Side Entertainment and Melanie Poppins will also be in attendance on the day, mingling with the crowd and posing for photographs. There will be information tents and stage performances as well.

Bernadette says individuals, teams and corporate groups, including people of any age, are being encouraged to enter the New Zealand record attempt and In2Hula can provide a free session for businesses thinking they may enter a team.

“We had a fantastic session at Pegasus Health recently with around twenty-five staff who had a great time. Fun is an important part of hooping – laughter and fun,” she says. “There were varying degrees of ability and in some ways it is even better if your staff members can’t hula hoop at all or very well, as learning a new skill together where everyone is out of their comfort zone and is collaborating in a new situation, is one of the best ways to build connection among staff,” says Bernadette.

Collaboration between The Heart Foundation, In2Hula, Cityscape and The Exercise Association of NZ is what is enabling the Super Heart Hoop-Off to happen. Check out more details here

A flashmob is planned for June 18th - if you want to be a part of it go here for more details.


A chat with In2hula's director, and the chief organiser of The Super Heart Hoop-Off, Bernadette Smith:

Tell us about the Super Heart Hoop-Off

The Super Heart Hoop-off is being organised as a charity event to raise funding for The Heart Foundation, and to help support and raise awareness of Heart Health.  It will also be a combined celebration of the Heart Foundation 50th anniversary and In2hula’s 10th anniversary

The main event of the afternoon will be an attempt to break the current New Zealand record for the most people hula hooping together in one place for 2 minutes consistently.  The record of 60 people achieving this was set in Christchurch in 2008. The record of 150 people is currently held by Invercargill.

How many people do you want hooping?

As many as we can get! The more the merrier, seriously it’s much more fun with heaps of people. We would love to see at least 300 people if possible; I’d be really confident of the New Zealand record with that many there.

How hard is it to hula hoop for two minutes?

The movement is not hard, it is technique and competency.  Once you learn and are confident, you can hoop for a lot longer than 2 minutes.  Just recently we collected in the annual appeal for the Heart Foundation and I hula hooped for 90 minutes non-stop.

How did you come up with the idea?

At the very beginning of our business in 2008, we decided to have an event to break a record. At this event we created the very first NZ record.  In 2009 our record was beaten by Invercargill.  Over the last 10 years we have supported other charities and have attempted to get the record back.  This year on the 28th October, we are determined with the interest of many hula hoopers in Christchurch that we are ready to take the record back!

How did you get involved with the Heart Foundation?

I had the idea of creating a hula hoop programme for preschool children and approached the Heart Foundation to see if they wanted to work in collaboration with In2hula on this.  This led to the Hoop with Heart programme, which is designed to support early learning services to achieve a Heart Foundation Healthy Heart Award.  The Hoop with Heart programme also fulfils a number of the learning outcomes from the NZ early childhood curriculum.

The event also coincides with In2hula’s 10 year anniversary, what is it about hooping that’s so addictive?

The hula hooping experience promotes so many benefits: from laughter, and great emotional well-being, to lower stress levels, increased blood circulation, and improved flexibility, and that is the tip of the iceberg of benefits to the body and mind.

When you started the business what was the game plan?

To engage in the fitness environment and create a way to express both fitness and fun.  To appeal to people of all ages and build a business supported by nurturing guidance. To make our business fun and accessible for literally everyone

How do you come up with the routines?

As instructors we follow an 8 week fitness routine that covers the basic hoop techniques, and a number of movements that work on toning throughout the body.  We enjoy creating our own music playlists to create the class atmosphere.  We are also aware of our client’s goals and what they would like to achieve, so no matter what the fitness level, anyone can start exactly where they are comfortable and build up fitness supported by our nurturing guidance.

What’s the ultimate outcome from the day?

To support and raise funds for the Heart Foundation, and bring the In2hula Hula Hoop NZ record back to Christchurch.

Do you have a message for the Invercargill record holders?

Great things come to pass, and you can’t keep what is rightfully ours forever!

What will the money raised, be used for?

Heart disease research.

What are the health benefits of hula hooping?

There are so many!  Strengthens and tones the core muscles / Breaks up fat deposits around the abdomen / Improves flexibility, balance, & coordination / Improves blood circulation and improves digestion / Promotes laughter and is great for emotional well-being / Encourages self-time, which is important to filling up and maintaining balance.

What’s the best music to hoop to?

Music is an individual choice.  We enjoy music that has around 128 BPM (beats per minute) for a good work out.

Songs like:

The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger
The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
Flo Rida - Club Can't Handle Me
Jennifer Lopez - On the Floor
Salt-N-Pepa - Push It.
Rihanna - Only Girl (In the World)

Who would you most like to teach some hooping moves to?

I would love to teach Jay-Jay Feeny and Hilary Muir. I love their enthusiasm for life and I think my passion and their love of life would be electric!!