Sports Heroes Join NSW Health To Help Teach Kids To Finish With The Right Stuff

16 Apr 2014

NSW Health will today launch its Finish with the Right Stuff Program which encourages kids not to undo all their good work by making unhealthy choices after their game of weekend sport.

Junior community sports clubs have been identified as an ideal setting for creating environments to promote healthy eating and drinking.

"Healthy habits start early. Finish with the Right Stuff is a flagship childhood program that uses sport to talk to kids, coaches, canteen staff and parents about making healthy choices like consuming water instead of sugary drinks or swapping lollies for fruit" said Dr Jo Mitchell, Director of the NSW Centre of Population Health.

NSW Health has joined forces with AFL star Jude Bolton, NRL player Nathan Hindmarsh and NSW Swifts Captain Kimberlee Green to create an exciting visual and online campaign to encourage kids to make healthier choices when the whistle blows – just like they do.

"Elite athletes don’t run on junk. We know kids look up to their sporting heroes so who better than them to set the example of how to Finish with the Right Stuff" Dr Mitchell said.

Today, around 150 kids from Western Sydney will join the three ambassadors from AFL, NRL and Netball NSW at the Sydney Cricket Ground for skills and drills training and a practical lesson in Finishing with the Right Stuff.

AFL star Jude Bolton said, "As an athlete I was given the best advice on how to keep my body healthy through diet and training. The Finish with the Right Stuff campaign helps our local sporting communities to educate their players, coaches and parents to make the right choices for kids when they’re in the sporting environment."

NSW Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, said the program is part of the NSW Government’s comprehensive five year Healthy Eating Active Living Strategy – aimed at reducing overweight and obesity and improving the health and wellbeing of the NSW population.

"In 2012, around half the adult population (49.7 per cent) in NSW were either overweight or obese. In 2010, 22.8 % per cent of children were classified as either overweight or obese in NSW" Mr Humphries said.

"High levels of obesity in NSW is one of the biggest hurdles our health system is facing. The Finish with the Right Stuff Program will help to make NSW a healthier state by building healthy habits early."

The attention grabbing advertisements will be aired during tier one games throughout the remainder of the AFL, NRL and Netball seasons and will also target audiences via social media.

 

"The Finish With the Right Stuff campaign is a great initiative and I am really very proud to be involved" said NRL hero Nathan Hindmarsh.

"As a dad of three very active young boys I know it is never too early to start developing healthy habits with children, whatever the level of sport or activity they are involved in."

NSW Swifts Captain Kimberlee Green said she’s concerned about the levels of childhood obesity.

"Leading a healthy lifestyle is not just about getting regular exercise. After playing sport, whether it’s at school or on the weekend, it’s really important children refuel their bodies with the right stuff. Not only does the body need nutritious food to recover properly after exercise, it also has long term health benefits."

To assist them in making sure their players are running on the right stuff, NSW Health is running 2.5 hour healthy canteen workshops for junior community AFL, NRL and Netball sporting clubs which sign up to the program. Clubs will also receive a tool kit to help reinforce the finish with the right stuff message to their players – which will include campaign branded water bottles, canteen signage, black boards, water carriers and aprons.

As an added incentive, clubs who adopt the program in high priority areas - western Sydney, Wagga Wagga, Hunter and South Coast - are eligible to receive funding and other support. 58 clubs have signed up so far. The training component of the program will be staged so that all areas in NSW receive it over the next four years.

"We challenge clubs in the four high priority areas for 2014 to register for training, make a healthy change, then showcase what they’ve done to increase the availability of healthy food and drink choices to players and their parents by hosting a "Right Stuff Day" later in the season" Dr Mitchell said.

A Finish with the Right Stuff sports ambassador will attend one lucky club to congratulate them on their initiatives.

Social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and club websites, will also play a significant role in spreading the Finish with the Right Stuff message.

Minister Humphries said the NSW Healthy Eating and Active Living strategy will deliver a record investment in promoting healthy lifestyles, with more than $136 million to be invested in evidence-based programs and to target chronic diseases and obesity.

"Our goal is to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children and young people aged 5 to 16 years to 21 per cent by 2015" Mr Humphries said.

"The statistics are staggering and we need to do everything we can to turn this situation around."

Further information on Healthy Eating and Active Living can be found at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/obesity.  

Additional information on Finish with the Right Stuff can be found at http://www.rightstuff.health.nsw.gov.au/.