Puncheon: Young children need to eat well

31 May 2017
Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon at Oasis Ryelands primary school

Crystal Palace captain is joined by Wilfried Zaha to encourage healthy living in young people

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For a Premier League footballer like Jason Puncheon, eating healthily and keeping fit is a crucial part of his job, but it is also important for people in all walks of life.

That was the message delivered to the pupils of Oasis Ryelands Primary School in Croydon by Puncheon and his Crystal Palace team-mate Wilfried Zaha as they celebrated the successful pilot of the Get Up, Get Moving programme devised by the club's head of medical science, Dr Zaf Iqbal.

Dr Iqbal is teaming up with Palace for Life Foundation coaches to deliver teacher training in a drive to increase awareness and promote physical activity and healthy eating among primary school children in years 5 and 6.

As well as listening to advice about health and the consequences that come with leading a poor lifestyle, the children were also tasked with creating a healthy living poster, judged by Puncheon and Zaha.

The six winners chosen by the pair received a Palace For Life t-shirt and a trip to the training ground to meet the players in action and see how the medical department is run.

A keen supporter of the Foundation's primary school programme, Puncheon, who was raised in Croydon, acknowledged the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Palace for Life foundation
The six winners with their drawings at Crystal Palace's training ground

"Since Zaf has come in he's encouraged us to eat the right things and it is really important, especially for these young children that they do the same," he said.

Teachers are provided with all the relevant materials to deliver the programme, which involves five lessons, each delivered one hour a day, in compliance with the recommended amount of daily physical activity children should be doing, and will be supported with key messages from Dr Zaf.

The Palace for Life Foundation is now aiming to roll out the programme to primary schools across South London.

See: 'Palace for Life can be community focal point'

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