Foods Standards Agency Scotland Joins Forces With Scottish Rugby

The Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS) is teaming up with Scottish Rugby to kick start the launch of a new partnership initiative today (Thursday 30 August) which will encourage thousands of youngsters across the country to increase their knowledge of food hygiene, healthy eating and improve their fitness. Some 5,000 school children from 160 primary schools across Scotland will take part in this initiative. It comprises a six-week training course for boys and girls in primaries five and six. The course is designed to make children more aware of the benefits of good food hygiene and healthy eating.The Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS) is teaming up with Scottish Rugby to kick start the launch of a new partnership initiative today (Thursday 30 August) which will encourage thousands of youngsters across the country to increase their knowledge of food hygiene, healthy eating and improve their fitness.

Some 5,000 school children from 160 primary schools across Scotland will take part in this initiative. It comprises a six-week training course for boys and girls in primaries five and six. The course is designed to make children more aware of the benefits of good food hygiene and healthy eating.

Some youngsters and teachers from schools participating in the scheme joined the Scotland rugby squad at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh today and were treated to a healthy lunch before stepping pitch-side.

Lydia Wilkie, Assistant Director, FSAS, said: “I am delighted to launch this initiative with Scottish Rugby and our other partners, Active Schools Co-ordinators and, of course, the teachers themselves.

“We have evidence from our earlier pilot that using sports coaches as role models helps to motivate youngsters to take on and understand messages about safe and healthy eating along with fun activities.”

Scotland full-back Hugo Southwell is one of 20 Scotland players and two Scotland Women internationalists who feature in a new educational mission book, packed full of healthy eating and hygiene tips and activities, developed by the Agency and Scottish Rugby.

He said: “We all need to eat a varied, balanced diet that is packed full of healthy foods. It's important to make sure you get your five portions of fruit and veg a day and also to avoid sugary and salty snacks as much as you can.

"Don't sit all day in front of the telly or Playstation, get outside, play sport and have fun."

Ken MacEwen, Scottish Rugby’s National Fitness Co-ordinator, said: “Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are at the very core of our national fitness programmes. Following these simple guidelines as laid down in a very user-friendly manner in the mission-book will lay foundations that will benefit all the participating children, hopefully for the long-term.”

The pupils will complete a variety of healthy eating and food hygiene activities each week from learning how to be healthy and get the right balance of foods, to how to handle and store food hygienically and safely.

It’s not all classroom-based, however. After completing the theory, children will step outside and join Scottish Rugby’s club development staff for a practical fun-based rugby session. During the session, the coaches will ask the pupils questions on activities in the pupil mission book to test their knowledge and introduce new topics.

All pupils who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate along with some goodies including a kit bag and fridge thermometer, while participating schools will receive some rugby kit.

1. Scottish Rugby’s Community Rugby department will deliver the rugby training sessions and their Rugby Development Managers working in association with Active Schools will co-ordinate the courses.

2. This scheme follows successful pilots between FSAS and Aberdeen Football Club from 2005-2007 of the educational training pack and concept of linking sports coaches as role models to course material in primary schools.

3. The FSA is an independent UK wide government department set up as a food safety watchdog to protect the public’s health and consumer interests in relation to food.