Rugby League Ambassador Nathan Hindmarsh and the NRL have joined forces with NSW Health to launch the 'Finish with the Right Stuff' Program which encourages children to drink water and make healthy food choices after their game of weekend sport.
NRL Interim General Manager of Community Culture and Diversity, Mr Mark Deweerd, said the code is extremely supportive of what the Finish with the Right Stuff campaign aims to achieve.
“The NRL fully endorses this NSW Office of Preventative Health initiative which encourages children to ‘Finish with the Right Stuff’ after sport,” he said.
“The NRL is committed to ensuring children drink water and make healthier choices after the game.
“This program further supports the NRL’s ‘Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well’ program which engages and encourages primary school aged students to build healthy lifestyles and make positive choices.”
Retired Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh joined fellow Finish with the Right Stuff campaign ambassadors at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday to launch the program and put children from Western Sydney through skills and drills and lessons in how to make healthier choices.
“The ‘Finish With the Right Stuff’ program is a great initiative and I am really very proud to be involved,” said 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 with.
“My advice to the kids will be - after you finish playing sport, drink water and remember to make healthy food choices.”
Hindmarsh will feature in an eye-catching visual and online campaign to encourage children to make healthier choices when the whistle blows.
The Finish with the Right Stuff program is part of the NSW Government’s comprehensive five year Healthy Eating Active Living Strategy – aimed at reducing overweight and obesity and improve the general 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, 23.6 per cent of children between 5 and 17 years of age were classified as either overweight or obese in NSW,” said Director of the NSW Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell.
With the assistance of NRL NSW Community Engagement officers, NSW Health has already started working with NRL clubs to make healthier canteen options available for children.
“There are so many products on the market these days that it can be very confusing as to what is healthy or not – so the ‘Finish with the Right Stuff’ message is perfect because it is so simple,” said Hindmarsh.
To assist them in making sure their players are running on the “right stuff”, NSW Health is running healthy canteen workshops for junior community NRL 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, aprons and vests for coaching staff and referees.
As an added incentive, clubs who adopt the program are eligible to receive funding and other support such as merchandise.
“We challenge clubs to sign up, 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,” said Dr Mitchell.
Further information on Finish with the Right Stuff can be found here.