Geelong captain Joel Selwood has kick started the expansion of the Cats GMHBA Healthy Heroes program.
Selwood was joined by fellow program ambassadors Brandan Parfitt and Darcy Moloney at Belmont Primary School as the program was delivered to children across the Geelong region.
GMHBA Healthy Heroes is in its fifth year. Previously delivered to Grades 3 & 4, the successful results of the initiative have seen it expanded to the entire primary school community, including students from Prep to Grade 6, parents and staff.
The program empowers children to live a healthy lifestyle. GMHBA Healthy Heroes has increased the health literacy of students after each visit, with 70% of the children understanding the key messages around healthy eating, water consumption, physical activity, screen time and sleep.
Selwood, the Cats' 2020 AFL men’s community champion, is proud of the club’s commitment in the community space, and sees GMHBA Healthy Heroes as critical to helping kids understand the path to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
“The GMHBA Healthy Heroes program is one of the best education programs around healthy lifestyle that is available,” Selwood said.
“As a club we seek to make a positive impact in the community, and the real differences that GMHBA Healthy Heroes has made and will continue to make shows how important this program is.
“To be able to expand GMHBA Healthy Heroes to even more kids, encompassing all primary school levels is amazing and the players enjoy delivering this.
“The programs are tailored to each age group level, so in essence we have four different programs and messages within GMHBA Healthy Heroes.”
GMHBA Chair, Claire Higgins is excited about the impact the program will have on the community’s health.
“We know that our health is not as good as it could be with 54% of adults in the Barwon area meeting the physical activity guidelines and just 5.1% of adults meeting the guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption. GMHBA is very pleased to be part of a program that gets to kids early and sets them up with the right life-time habits that will make them healthier adults.”
Some key takes outs from the program delivery include:
· In 2017 and 2018, 65% of students could recall they should do one hour of physical activity every day, and this increased by 6% to 71% of students being able to recall in 2019.
· In 2017, 46.27% of students could recall they should eat two serves of fruit each day, this increased by 9.08% in 2019.
· In 2017, 68.64% of students could recall they should eat 5 serves of vegetables each day, this increased by 13.7% in 2019.
· In 2017, 70.59% of students could recall they should drink 7 cups of water each day, this increased by 13.2% in 2019.
· Post Healthy Heroes students’ knowledge of the recommendations for screen time has increased to above 90%.
· In 2018, 75.68% of students could recall that 9 to 11 hours of sleep is recommended for children their age. This increased by 11.82% to 87.50% in 2019.
· 95.92% of teachers agreed the program taught their class valuable information