Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon were on hand to promote the project and offer the children some personal advice about the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle choices and being disciplined with diet and exercise.
Having begun in September, the CPFC Foundation will tour schools in the borough to inspire children to get involved in sport, and teach them about the value of healthy eating.
By offering the free Sutton’s Healthy Lifestyles Programme to schoolchildren, the Foundation wants to help change bad habits that are easily picked up at a young age and are leading to problems of children becoming overweight.
Currently in the UK, the proportion of children (aged 2 to 15) classified as obese has increased over 15 years from 11.7 per cent to 16 per cent (2010). In Sutton, 20% of children aged 4 to 5 years old, and 33% aged 10 to 11 years old, are classified as overweight or obese.
The programme will:
• Combine sport and physical activity with healthy lifestyles education to year 5 & 6 pupils in 30 primary schools
• Increasing the provision of affordable out of school activities including new football development centres
• Support 10 new early morning breakfast clubs to provide additional physical activity but also address concerns around lateness and punctuality
• Offer a professional nutritionist to support classes
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“We want to give Sutton’s children the best start in life. By encouraging them to be active and to understand nutrition, we are teaching them valuable lessons that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
“With the culture of videogames and fast food, the UK is slipping into problems of childhood obesity. In Sutton, 20% of children aged 4 to 5 years old, and 33% aged 10 to 11 years old, are classified as overweight or obese. Although this compares well to other London boroughs, we want to reduce that figure and that is why we are here today.
“Our partnership with Crystal Palace will see 3,000 children benefit directly from coaching and advice on healthy eating over the next three years. By educating children at an early stage, we are preventing health problems from arising in our borough further down the line.”
Steve Browett co-owner, Co-Chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club said:
“It’s fantastic and forward thinking that local councils like Sutton are looking to our Foundation to help deliver their vision for the borough. Crystal Palace FC might well be in the Premier League but we are still very much a family club with deep roots in the local community. We’re are all passionate about Crystal Palace FC, what it stands for and how it can inspire young and old alike.”
Donald Forde, Head of Crystal Palace FC Foundation said:
“It is great that we can work alongside local councils to improve the health of our local communities. Our initiative runs parallel with the importance that the Government has placed on healthy lifestyles and active living, especially among our young people. We are proud to deliver schemes that offer our young people the chance to participate in activities and health education that ordinarily many would not have access to outside of school hours. This is crucial to the health and wellbeing of our future generations!”