Bath Rugby players Peter Stringer and Mat Gilbert visited St Martins Garden Primary School in Odd Down recently to help promote "Something to Chew On", a new programme which aims to improve children's understanding of what constitutes healthy eating.
In association with BT Sports' "The Supporters Club", Something to Chew On is an interactive project aimed at teaching 7-8 year olds about their own health and wellbeing with a rugby focus.
Something to Chew On is a two hour engagement with Year 3 classes, over a five week period. Each class will receive an hour of interactive indoor classroom work, which focuses on the Healthy Eating messages whilst increasing children's knowledge of food safety. The second hour is spent outside practicing Tag Rugby skills, and linking what the children have learnt about Healthy Eating to activity and sport. Each school will also receive an assembly, during which time the basic Something to Chew On messages will be shared to the entire school.
Peter Stringer commented: "My food intake is really important as it gives me the right balance of nutrients to allow me to stay at the top of my game. Without a balanced diet I would not have enough energy, nor would my body repair itself effectively, which would impact on my ability to train and play. I think it's fantastic to be supporting the next generation through the Something to Chew On project to make healthy choices in their lives. As well as eating the right foods, they get to be active which is really important."
The programme was founded in response to government research which found that over a fifth of 4-5 year olds, one third of children aged 10-11 years old and two thirds of adults are currently overweight or obese. Rugby's diversity makes it the perfect vehicle to drive a health and activity led initiative; as a sport rugby can offer playing opportunities and role models to children of all shapes and sizes. The tag rugby element of the two hour session helps to increase children's uptake of physical activity and supports the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines that all children should engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least an hour a day.
This term, Bath Rugby Foundation has delivered the programme in Southdown Junior, St Michael's Junior as well as St Martin's Garden Primary School.