Ospreys youngsters received a lesson in healthy shopping this week when nuritionist Jon Williams took them on a tour of Tesco Neath Abbey, where they learnt how to effectively read nutritional information to ensure they are buying and eating the rights foods to help them towards their aim of becoming fully fledged members of the senior squad.
The visit was part of a wider scheme which sees 16-18-year old ‘C’ group members receive a range of lifestyle education sessions throughout the season to provide them with the tools to develop both as players and people and, in terms of nutritional understanding, will be followed up over the coming weeks by a series of cookery lessons led by Williams where they will learn to prepare cheap and healthy meals for themselves, allowing them to become increasingly self-reliant.
The group were greeted at Tesco Neath Abbey by Deputy Store Manager Gareth Williams, who accompanied them as they wound their way through the aisles, learning as they went.
According to Williams, the lessons are an important step in the development of these future Ospreys:
“Nutrition and healthy eating is something that as young hopeful rugby players these boys will be aware of, but not necessarily have a proper understanding of. They’ll know for example that chicken is a good source of protein, but not realise that how it’s prepared can mean that the positives could be outweighed by the negatives.
“What we are doing is taking them through the basics step by step so that they understand not only what they should be eating, but also, how to prepare it, and how to read nutritional information and understand that food that may appear healthy at first glance may be anything but.
“It’s important for their development that they fully understand what they are putting inside them. As a professional athlete they need to be refuelling properly if they hope to achieve their full potential.”
Regional Performance Development Manager, Andrew Millward, oversees the development pathway at the Ospreys and he says the experience will prove a beneficial one:
“These nutritional sessions are an important part of their personal development programmes. We look to use the six pillars of development to create well rounded people and players in our ‘C’ group, preparing them for life and helping to develop better citizens. With Jon’s help, we’ll have a group of young players who are more self reliant and better informed about their food, and we’ll follow this up throughout the season with similar educational workshops on other aspects of their personal development.”