Tuesday 30 October 2012
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Aston Villa star Charles N’Zogbia showed that he is as skilful in the kitchen as he is on the pitch when he gave his support to the club’s Villa Vitality healthy-eating initiative recently.
The 26-year-old winger helped the schoolchildren in attendance at Villa Park serve up hummus before showing them how to best use the mini gym.
The Villa Vitality programme is a partnership between Aston Villa and Birmingham NHS and is designed to teach children about food and the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
"Villa Vitality is a perfect example of the positive impact Premier League clubs can have on the lives of schoolchildren"
Premier League's Simon Morgan
Villa Vitality has been running since 2005 and the scheme has just received the news that it has secured fresh funding from the Premier League Charitable Fund which will allow it to carry on for another three years.
The Premier League Professional Footballers' Association (PLPFA) Community Fund forms a major strand of the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme, which uses the power of football to make a positive difference and empowers Premier League clubs to create opportunities at the heart of their communities.
The Premier League invests £13.8 million over three years into the PLPFA Community Fund that enables clubs to develop stimulating and innovative projects that respond to local need.
"Villa Vitality is a perfect example of the positive impact Premier League clubs can have on the lives of schoolchildren," said the Premier League's Head of Community Development Simon Morgan.
"By opening up the doors of Villa Park to over 3,500 pupils every year Villa can inspire these pupils to live a healthier lifestyle."
N'Zogbia, who joined Villa from Wigan Athletic in 2011, said he was delighted to give his backing to the project.
"Eating right and doing exercise is very important for kids and it's important that they learn about how to eat the right things and exercise properly because it will be good for them," he told the club's official website.
"I have younger brothers and I know what it's like, wanting to eat sweets and have fizzy drinks and those kinds of things instead of healthier food.
"It has shown how inspirational Villa Park can be and the power of the Aston Villa brand to encourage positive social change"
Aston Villa's Ravi Masih
"Schemes like this show them how to be healthier and that is important. It can change their habits and that will help them now and when they grow up."
Over 20,000 children have taken part in the programme over the last seven years and Villa’s Community Relations Manager Ravi Masih believes the initiative plays an important role in helping children make positive and informed choices.
"The success rate of the programme in affecting change in behaviour and lifestyle has proven why such an initiative is so important," he said.
"Thanks to Birmingham Public Health, the Premier League, Premier League Charitable Fund and the PFA we are able to continue this fantastic programme for another three years.
"It has shown how inspirational Villa Park can be and the power of the Aston Villa brand to encourage positive social change.
"As we embark on another three years we are very excited about making Villa Vitality more successful than ever before."