Tauranga kids break world record

Hearing Support Bay of Plenty manager Jo Sykes with the official email from Guinness World Records. Photo: Ryan Wood.

An attempt by Tauranga pupils to break the world record for the largest game of Chinese whispers has been successful.

Guinness World Records officially approved the record today in an email to Holland Beckett, who served as scrutineers of the record attempt.

The record attempt in March of this year was part of Hearing Week, an initiative by the National Foundation for the Deaf that aims to raise awareness of hearing-impaired people and the impacts of hearing loss.

A total of 1763 pupils from Tauranga Intermediate and six primary schools – Maungatapu, Tauranga Primary, Welcome Bay, Greerton Village, Merivale, and Greenpark – were involved

Hearing Support Bay of Plenty manager Jo Sykes, who was one of the organisers of the record attempt, says it's taken a few months to get everything approved.

“Normally applications take up to 15 weeks to process, as they get thousands a week,” she says. “But there's been a bit of toing and froing between our solicitor dealing with the application and the Guinness World Records people. They wanted more information – they're very thorough, which I guess is a good thing.”

She says a big thank you is in order for Tauranga Intermediate, who hosted the record attempt.

“Without them we couldn't have done it.”

Tauranga Intermediate Deputy Principal Kathy Colville says it's ‘pretty amazing' to have the record approved.

“We told the kids earlier today. The Year 8s were told during an assembly, and they let out an almighty roar that could be heard across the school.”

Initial practice runs indicated the attempt might take several hours.

“We thought it would take a whole day, but it actually went very quickly and smoothly,” says Kathy. “It was great to have the other schools involved too.”

Jo says after this year's record attempt, they might have to plan something else for next year's Hearing Week, to help promote the good work Hearing Support Bay of Plenty does.

“We see people who are already hearing-impaired, and we act as a referral service for people who need free, unbiased advice on hearing loss,” says Jo.

“We have a range of products to help the hearing impaired, such as specialist phones, doorbells, and smoke alarms. We also educate people on how to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, both adults and children through our school programme, ‘Dangerous Decibels'.”


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