Discovering More Than Sport

This photograph is not necessarily one that you would immediately associate with a sports camp but as every top athlete knows you must fuel up to perform at your best.

sports nourishment, group of children being served dinner at a canteen

Sadly, for many children in our country, this is not a familiar feeling.

‘Summer holidays can be exceptionally difficult for children’

According to a recent Scottish Government report*, ‘Going to school hungry and struggling through the long school holidays not only impacts children’s happiness and wellbeing, it severely limits their mental and physical development with long-lasting and wide-ranging consequences. They are most likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, obesity and to have a healthy life expectancy of 23 years less than their most affluent counterparts’.

Professor Nicolas Watson from the University of Glasgow has carried out a research study on this topic and states ‘Summer holidays can be exceptionally difficult for children in many low-income families and can have a detrimental impact on health and learning. Our research discovered kids’ health may be put at risk through isolation, extended periods of inactivity and malnourishment, as many lose access to free school meals and suffer “holiday hunger”.

It is a small step in counteracting this major social issue but the inclusion of breakfast and lunch as part of our Multi-Sport Summer Holiday programmes has set a new standard for future years.

The ‘Discover Food’ Programme, delivered in partnership with Chartwells and Mitie also included a nutrition workshop organised at lunchtime in between the sports coaching sessions.

group of young children celebrating with hands in the aid as they prepare food

We leave the final verdict with those involved.

Caroline Tomlinson, Parent:

‘The food sounded really good, with lots of different healthy options! Innes enjoyed the nutrition session. He had good fun. Great fitness, different sports on offer. The staff seem enthusiastic and professional which made the camp’

Rob Ironside, Parent:

'Millie loved the camp! The friendliness on the very first morning was crucial and the funny activities like ‘Coach Factor’ have all added to the fun.’

Kai, Participant:

‘The breakfasts and lunches were tasty! I liked the fruit bowls the best.’

Sharon, Chartwells Kitchen Staff:

‘The kids were very hungry! All that running around must be good for them. I would love to be involved over the holiday period again.’

Footnote:

The Sports Camps were part of a wider ‘Discover’ pilot programme running across the city in July and August 2018.
*(Source: The Scottish Government (2015) Long-Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities)

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