Community cricket programme inspires Plymouth youngsters to eat healthier
A SUGAR SMART Ambassador brings healthy eating cookery skills and knowledge to a youth cricket programme in Plymouth.
Wicketz, a free community cricket programme delivered by the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, the Lord’s Taverners, is having a big impact on the lives of young people in Plymouth by raising awareness of the detrimental effects of excess sugar through a partnership with SUGAR SMART Plymouth.
Plymouth Wicketz Development Officer Vicky Reeve had received training as a SUGAR SMART Ambassador through Food Plymouth, the organisation behind the SUGAR SMART Plymouth campaign. She used the knowledge and resources to develop a weekly programme for children that combines cricket and healthy eating sessions.
Working with Devon and Cornwall Food Action, Vicky collects food donations twice a week and uses these as ingredients for her healthy living workshops, which has so far seen smoothies, tuna pasta bake, chicken and broccoli hoi sin stir fry, fruit crepes, vegetable soup and omelettes made by participants. These simple recipes are easy for participants to replicate at home and encourage them to eat more healthily on a regular basis.
Dr Clare Pettinger, SUGAR SMART Plymouth Manager, commented:
Having a range of partners on board, including the Lord’s Taverners through Wicketz with Vicky Reeve, is essential for the success of the programme, particularly to get the message to more deprived communities.
Vicky Reeve added:
The connection with food and cricket was apparent to me very early and I am so enthusiastic about it as children’s diet and sugar intake is a hot topic currently.
The children have loved the food as much as the cricket and we have had regular conversations about healthy food alternatives. The SUGAR SMART session had them counting out the amount of sugar cubes in popular items, by the end we had an audience with 20 parents listening too!
Vicky's great work was highlighted at the SUGAR SMART Celebration event in July 2018. Her sport and healthy eating sessions have also sparked interest across the national Wicketz network, with plans to replicate her approach at other hubs across the country.
SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by the charity Sustain. SUGAR SMART is one of the featured campaigns in the UK's Sustainable Food Cities network.