Apr 10, 2015
Something To Chew On
Something To Chew On is a progressive high profile health programme delivered by Saracens Sport Foundation; working in partnership with the Premiership Rugby Supporters Club and BT Sport.
The rugby-themed five week programme is delivered through both classroom sessions and practical healthy based tag rugby activities. The programme aims to: improve young people's understanding of what constitutes healthy eating, healthy diet and food safety; increase young people's uptake of physical activity and work as a contribution towards the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines that all children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least an hour a day; and provide sustainability through teacher training and provision of equipment. These aims are not only being achieved, but are being surpassed.
One pupil from Malorees Junior School in Brent is a shining example of how programmes such as Something To Chew On make a real difference in children’s lives. Rhys has a disability which affects his ability to move and balance, making the simple task of walking steadily around the classroom a constant struggle. Rhys also wears a hearing aid which allows him to hear any conversations which take place in class. The Something To Chew On programme provided Rhys with the opportunity to get stuck into a sport where different parts of the body are engaged; such as catching and passing.
The programme was a new experience for all of Rhys’s class. The enthusiasm and enjoyment the class showed for learning new skills together created a real positive buzz inside the classroom. For Rhys, the chance to begin a new sport at the same ability level as the rest of his class was hugely exciting and a real motivation for him.
Not only has Rhys built up confidence outside in the playground, but the varying nature of tasks to complete in class (from designing and making food hygiene posters, to assigning food into correct sections of a giant Eat Well plate) have provided him with the opportunity to get really involved in group tasks. The result of this is that Rhys is building better relationships with his classmates whilst improving his physical strength.
A member of staff at the school also noticed a real change in the students involved saying that ‘All the children really look forward to the session and have, so far, been really enjoying themselves. Many of them have asked about continuing the sport in school and want to get involved outside of school. It’s been a real confidence booster for the children.’
For Rhys, the icing on the cake came when he and his classmates were asked to take part in the Guard of Honour here at Allianz Park when Saracens took on Newcastle Falcons. A fantastic opportunity that Rhys will never forget.
Tag Rugby Coaching and Health Education Programme: A five week dual coaching and health education coaching programme. Each session lasts for approximately two hours and contains one hour of healthy eating and one hour of tag coaching activity. The programme will deliver healthy eating sessions based on the Key-Stage 2 curriculum, core rugby skills and tag rugby.
Tag Festivals: The programme is delivered to both boys and girls and each participating school will be encouraged to take part in your partnership tag rugby festival, supported by Saracens, at a local rugby club.
Teacher Insets: To sustain the uptake of rugby at grassroots level educating teachers about the game is crucial. The insets provide an opportunity for staff members from the schools involved in the programme to increase their knowledge of the game and the core values that surround it.
Our Sport Development Officer, Charlie, states that ‘the project is one that the children, staff, and myself really enjoy and find rewarding. Not only do the children involved love the tag sessions outside but they have also really engaged in healthy eating sessions in the classrooms’.
For more information about Something To Chew On please contact Charlie Esdon: CharlieEsdon@saracens.net