Caption: Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa I Love My Life – Yanuca’s Biggest Loser winners L-R Bulou Vasema, pastry chef Sampath Balapatabendi (overall winner) and Jim Naudreudre. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island, Fiji announced the winners of its “Yanuca’s Biggest Loser Campaign”.   The 12-week campaign was launched in February and is part of the Resort’s “I Love My Life” Health and Wellness initiative for staff launched in September 2012 and was targeted towards those who wanted to lose weight.

Seventy-one staff from various departments registered for the Yanuca Biggest Loser programme and a team from the SigatokaHospital were invited to launch the campaign.  During the launch participants were briefed on the importance of living a healthy life style. Participants were also given an option to be part of an exercise program held every fortnight. Activities included Zumba sessions, stretching classes, water aerobics and power walks around the Resort.

The three winners included Bulou Vasemaca from the stewarding team, Timoci Naudreudre from the Culinary team and pastry chef Sampath Balapatabendi. Staff who participated lost a total of 267 kilograms in three months. 

“The results for this campaign have been extremely encouraging as all our staff have become more aware of health issues and have begun to take ownership of their own health and wellness all they really needed was some encouragement, support and a push in the right direction” said the Resort’s General Manager, Michael Monks.

“Since we launched our ‘I Love My Lifemy life my responsibility’ Health and Wellness Campaign we have started raising awareness on the importance of  living a healthier lifestyle and our tagline about responsibility is what we are trying to encourage amongst staff so that they make the changes themselves.” Yanuca’s Biggest Loser organiser, Mereoni Mataika said. She further added that while the resort had a number of health initiatives for quite a number of years including general health checks;  cancer, dental clinics and annual eye clinics that are held both at the Resort and at the Sigatoka Hospital the ‘I Love My Life’ campaign sought to create a more sustainable platform for staff to consciously think about why health and wellness should be important to them.

“We asked a lot of staff why it was important to stay healthy and the majority of answers were about family so it was easier for us to talk to our staff about making those life changes. We were really encouraged that staff were not just making changes for themselves but for their families and we also found that their colleagues in their own departments started making changes as well,” Ms Mataika said.

Some of the main issues that were highlighted during the campaign were the amount of sugar, salt and oil consumed by an average person on a daily basis.

The Resort will continue with the fortnightly exercise program and partnering with SigatokaHospital to organise regular health screenings, information sessions and dietary advice.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders.  In striving to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development, a corporate-level CSR Committee drives the company’s initiatives in the strategic areas of stakeholder relations, the environment, health and safety, the supply chain and employees.  Under the umbrella of “sustainability,” Shangri-La’s social responsibility programme consists of the two elements of “embrace” and “sanctuary.”  “Embrace” focuses on Shangri-La’s Caring People Project, which aims to promote the highest level of education and health support in underprivileged communities.

In “sanctuary,” the programme concentrates on Shangri-La’s Care for Nature Project, which promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.  For more information, please access the CSR section on


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