Promoting smart lifestyle choices

The Highlander has a simple message for youth: make a smart lifestyle choice with healthy eating...
The Highlander has a simple message for youth: make a smart lifestyle choice with healthy eating and drinking and regular exercise. Photo by ORFU.
A school-based programme is being introduced by the Highlanders rugby team this season which will target low-decile primary schools and deliver messages around healthy eating and physical activity.

The programme will be delivered by the Highlander, the fit and strong team mascot.

The programme will also be supported by players from the 2010 Highlanders squad and players from the ORFU Rugby Academy.

"We have identified the need to use our rugby role models to deliver messages to young children around the importance of eating and drinking in a healthy way, and also the need to be physically active," Highlanders marketing manager Doug McSweeney said.

"The programme is building on the great work done by the Highlanders' mascot over the past six years, but extending it to be less rugby-flavoured and more about healthy living."

The programme involves a minimum of three visits to each school by The Highlander and a support team made up of players and Highlanders' trust staff.

Each visit will focus on a different message.

The first will be about "the secrets to being big and strong like the Highlander", a programme that was written by the present Highlander mascot, in consultation with Highlanders dietitian Dr Kirsty Fairbairn.

This will be followed by an outdoor session focused on physical activity, and a third visit which will have a fun curriculum-based activity, such as a colouring-in competition or story-writing activity.

"The kids have been very receptive to the visits over the years, and it's great to see this programme getting a life of its own, as the benefits will be positive," McSweeney concluded.


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