The Foundation’s healthy eating programme Something to Chew On has gone down a storm in local schools. This success has been recently been recognised externally as the project was nominated for a coveted Sports Industry Award.
Legend and Reserves’ Team coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer learnt more about the programme when he attended an event with Rugby World Cup winning wing Ben Cohen. The event celebrated the Foundation’s new link up with Premier Rugby, which will now deliver Something to Chew On nationwide through all of its clubs.
Ole and Ben met up with children at the Sale Sharks’ Carrington training base as they worked through a Something to Chew On session and prepared a healthy sandwich for the two athletes.
The programme is designed to improve young people's knowledge of diet and health and food safety, as well as increase their uptake of physical activity and Ole thinks this is a really important message for young people and professionals alike:
“This campaign is very dear to my heart. It is important for my players. We have educated them for quite a while about healthy eating. But I have kids of my own and it is not easy to teach them yourself as a dad, you try but if they get it from school then they will listen.
“My kids would listen if Wayne Rooney was here teaching them. But they don’t listen to their own parents the same so it is good that we can get out or the schools come to us and we can get the message across. It is easier for them to learn in that environment.
“The eating message is a very important one but also for me the message about keeping active. The more playing outside you can encourage children to do the better. That is part of our responsibility.
“There are too many computer games and all sorts of things like that inside that can occupy them. It is fun, of course, but being outside is also fun and you keep fit.”
The ‘Something to Chew On’ programme will be delivered by all 12 Guinness Premiership clubs in partnership with the Foundation and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The programme, which is funded by the FSA and the PL/PFA Community Fund, has recently received a nomination for the Sport Industry Community Programme of the Year award.
Programme Coordinator Andy Smith said: "Something to Chew On has been extremely well received in all of our schools and we have had some fantastic feedback. But to receive external recognition in the form a Sports Industry Award makes other people aware of the quality of the programme."
"Sport is a great motivator and an excellent way to capture children’s imagination. The unique thing about Something to Chew On is that it uses football (and now rugby) as a way of teaching young people to lead a healthy lifestyle, at an age when they are most responsive. By working in partnership with Premier Rugby we are really excited that we are able to take this nationwide.”