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Sunday 29 September 2013

West Brom's James Morrison helps local kids with healthy living

Midfielder goes to school to aid Albion Foundation scheme to improve lifestyles in local community

  • Morrison took questions from Year 6 pupils at Abbey Junior, in Bearwood

  • The school is one of 12 to receive tips to maintaining a healthy heart

West Bromwich Albion midfielder James Morrison helped to launch Albion Foundation’s new scheme to promote healthy living among children in the local Black Country.

The Active Albion Project will go into 12 local primary schools to educate 10 and 11-year-olds on the importance of having and maintain a healthy heart, and how eating and exercise are vital to fend off heart disease and other heart-related conditions.

"An active lifestyle, which has always helped me progress in football"
James Morrison

According to a study published this year by The Department of Health (www.healthprofiles.info) the Sandwell area near to West Bromwich Albion has reported below-average figures in hours of physical activity in schools, and states that a quarter of Year 6 children are classified as obese.

In addition, the rate of adult deaths as a result of heart disease in Sandwell is well above the national average.  Although the Foundation project does not directly aim its message at adults, it will encourage healthy eating and correct levels physical activity in young people, which will lead them to deflect from a lifestyle of bad eating and inactivity, which may, in turn, allow adults and parents to recognise benefits themselves.

The scheme, which is being funded by Subway Group and Heart Research UK, will reach 1,440 children who will have two hours of class a week, incorporating representatives from the Foundation using practice and theory to educate them on healthy eating and the importance of exercise.

The Year 6 children at Abbey Junior, in Bearwood, had the opportunity to meet Morrison and ask him questions on his diet, training regime and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s great to see the Foundation coming out to the local schools and delivering the message of having a healthy heart and healthy lifestyle,” Morrison said. “I try and eat healthily as much as possible, and lead an active lifestyle, which has always helped me progress in football."

"It was a perfect way to launch a beneficial programme to local children and wider community"
Dave Lawrence

The presence of a first-team player was a big boost for the project, according to Dave Lawrence, senior development officer, at The Albion Foundation.

“Having James supporting the launch of the initiative was fantastic,” Lawrence said. “The children were able to ask some great questions to a role model of theirs, who gave a good insight into what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It was a perfect way to launch what I am sure will be a beneficial programme to local children and the wider community.”

Each club in the Barclays Premeir League has a scheme encouraging their fans and people in the local community to live healthy lifestyles. To find out more about what your local club is doing click on the relevant link down the right.

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