Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Winning Ways at Staying Full of Vitality

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Winning Ways at Staying Full of Vitality

Article excerpt

Byline: By Craig Thompson

Fruit-loving children have proved themselves the healthiest in the region thanks to a special sports day. Craig Thompson gets under starters orders to find out more

It was a dream day for hundreds of school children who had opted to stay healthy this term.

Despite the cold conditions, they enjoyed a special sports event with professional coaches on hand to teach them about staying in great shape.

The event, at Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence in Newcastle, was the reward for months of hard work.

Football, basketball, judo, dance and swimming were all on the schedule for the day, along with mini-athletics and trampolining.

The event was organised in recognition of the determination of Tyneside youngsters to dump their junk food in favour of fruit-packed smoothies.

The children, from Walkergate Primary School, have been topping up their daily fruit intake following the introduction of a "smoothie" bar.

Jamie Sadler, food and nutrition development worker at the East End Community Health Project, has been spearheading the scheme.

He said: "Sports days take place each term as a pat on the back to youngsters who have opted to enjoy the healthy smoothies.

"The children are offered the opportunity to take part in the event if they have consumed enough smoothie drinks during each term.

"We hired professional coaches to teach a range of sports."

Each of the pupils was provided with a healthy packed lunch for the sports day.

These were made up thanks to the hard work of school kitchen staff using ingredients which are all sourced locally wherever possible.

The initial Smoothie Bar project took place at Walkergate school one day a week for a period of 15 weeks, and was a huge success.

On average, more than half the school ( 250 children ( enjoyed a smoothie each week. …

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