Supporting the Healthy Lifestyles of Your Club Members

CommitteesAn outdoor and active lifestyle is an iconic part of the way children live in Queensland. While no one would argue about the benefits of physical activity, often the food and drinks choices where we swim, run and play sports don’t support parents’ efforts for their child to have a healthy lifestyle.  Like their sporting heroes, whilst engaging in sports children can learn valuable messages about the role food plays to perform at their best both in their sport and every day living. Regardless of if they are just starting out with lessons, playing sport to be with friends or in training to be an elite athelete, this is a valuable opportunity to develop lifelong lessons for a healthy life.

What can your club committee do?

  • Support your young sports people and their families by offering and promoting healthy choices at all club activities involving food and drinks such as BBQ’s, fund raising food stalls and canteens
  • Develop a club or school food policy for everyone to follow at sports events that addresses the supply of healthy food and drinks and sponsorship by food related businesses
  • Establish procedures to ensure policies are implemented routinely at your club and orientate new committee members to both policies and procedures
  • Invest in, apply for grants or budget for equipment required to offer healthy foods

Developing your policy

Using a policy template like the Good Food Good Sports sample, determine a clear intent for your policy and what areas are to be covered. Some ideas include:

  • Areas where food and drinks are served such as BBQ’s, training night fundraisers and the club canteen
  • Frequency of events where the supply of less healthy options will be offered
  • Sponsorship by food manufacturers, suppliers, fast food restaurants etc
  • Prizes and rewards for coaches and team managers to hand out to team members
  • Fundraisers such as chocolate and pie drives
  • Alcohol service
  • Food safety training for staff or volunteers

Once drafted and consulted upon, have your policy endorsed to formalise the Club’s commitment.

Converting policy to procedure

Establishing procedures relating to your policy ensure the words are converted into action. A successful way of getting healthy food policies off the ground has been as follows:

  • ensure all activities where food and drinks are served are documented with a description of the event, target groups, goals, types of food to be served etc. See the sample template available here.
  • request all of these activities be submitted for the committee prior so they are able to review against the intent and any stipulations described in the club’s policy
  • maintain a record of club decisions and a calendar of your events to track the types of services being offered and ensure your club remains on target

Keep records of your activities

Evaluating the food and drink related events and recording these in a report for review by your committee ensures that as an organisation you can learn from mistakes and build upon success. With many volunteers contributing their assistance and sometimes expertise, it is a shame to have this go to waste by repeating the same mistakes or not taking the opportunity to make your club even better. It also provides future coordinators and volunteers with valuable time saving tools to get them started. A sample template is available here.

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