SportsPE - Food for football

Tes Editorial

Children are getting football coaching for breakfast in North Lanarkshire, with impressive results.

The scheme, run by the local authority and Motherwell Football Club, involves around 20 footballers, aged 11 and 12, receiving coaching and a healthy breakfast twice a week between 7.15am and 8.30am.

"Other athletes, like swimmers and cyclists, do early morning training sessions, and this is about encouraging our players to work hard on their individual techniques and skills," said Gordon Young, Motherwell FC youth development manager.

"Most importantly, it is about promoting a healthy lifestyle. They go to bed early, get up early, do their training, and then eat a nutritious breakfast before heading to school."

The scheme also aims to increase attention span, as getting up earlier to exercise should accelerate body and mind function. It encourages awareness of food and nutrition which, combined with correct sleep patterns, should benefit performance in all areas.

"No other council in Scotland has an agreement with a football club like this," said Jim Logue, the council's learning and leisure convener. The scheme had been an "outstanding success" and the council was keen to build on it.

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