Scotland links rugby with healthy eating

06/09/2007 - 00:00
The Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS) has teamed up with Scottish Rugby to encourage thousands of youngsters to increase their knowledge of food hygiene, healthy eating and improve their fitness.

Almost 5,000 school children from 160 primary schools across Scotland are currently taking part in this initiative, which comprises a six-week training course for boys and girls in primary years five and six. The course is designed to make children more aware of the benefits of good food hygiene and healthy eating.
Lydia Wilkie, Assistant Director, FSAS, said: ''We have evidence from our earlier pilot that using sports coaches as role models helps to motivate youngsters to take on and understand messages about safe and healthy eating along with fun activities.'
Scotland full-back Hugo Southwell is one of 20 Scotland players and two Scotland Women internationals who feature in a new educational mission book that carries healthy eating and hygiene tips and activities. It has been developed by the FSAS and Scottish Rugby.
He says: 'We all need to eat a varied, balanced diet that is packed full of healthy foods. It's important to make sure you get your five portions of fruit and veg a day and also to avoid sugary and salty snacks as much as you can.
'Don't sit all day in front of the telly or PlayStation, get outside, play sport and have fun.'
Ken MacEwen, Scottish Rugby's National Fitness Co-ordinator, said: 'Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are at the very core of our national fitness programmes. Following these simple guidelines in the mission-book will lay foundations that will benefit all the participating children, hopefully for the long-term.'
The pupils will complete a variety of healthy eating and food hygiene activities each week, from learning how to be healthy and get the right balance of foods to how to handle and store food hygienically and safely.
It's not all classroom-based, however. After completing the theory, children will step outside and join Scottish Rugby's club development staff for a practical fun-based rugby session. During the session, the coaches will ask them questions on activities in the pupil mission-book to test their knowledge and introduce new topics.
All pupils who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate along with some goodies, including a kit bag and fridge thermometer, while participating schools will receive some rugby kit.
This scheme follows successful pilots between FSAS and Aberdeen Football Club from 2005-2007 which pioneered the concept of linking sports coaches as role models to course material in primary schools

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