12th December 2013

Meat the Medal Hopefuls

Every athlete understands the importance of eating healthy, nutritionally balanced meals.  Yet not every athlete knows how to prepare such food, including ingredients like protein and iron rich lean beef, lamb and pork.

Thirteen of Scotland’s top sportsmen and women, including 2014 Commonwealth Games hopefuls Charline Joiner and Fiona Duncan (cycling), Holly Cram (hockey), Euan Burton and Sarah Clark (judo), swapped their sports kit for the kitchen and a cookery master-class within Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns, Glasgow this week.

As Champions in Schools ambassadors and under the expert guidance of chef Trevor McGuinness, the athletes donned their Scotch Beef aprons with the aim of subsequently being able to impart their cookery skills and advice of healthy eating habits to primary and secondary school children across Scotland.

Armed with both the theory and practical tips about how to prepare the likes of a nutritious Scotch Beef fajita wrap, throughout 2014 the athletes will each visit one of 500 schools involved in Winning Scotland Foundation’s Champions in Schools programme.  In highly interactive classroom sessions, the athletes will encourage pupils to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits and to appreciate that dreams on and off the sports field can also be achieved through goal setting and effort.

Charline Joiner, a 2010 Commonwealth Games sprint cycling silver medallist and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games hopeful, commented: “As an athlete, to perform to my best I know how important it is to follow a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet. This can include incorporating a portion of lean red meat, like Scotch Beef or Scotch Lamb to gain vital protein and iron.

“However, I am the first to admit my culinary skills aren’t always up to scratch! The cookery master-class with Trevor was the ideal opportunity for me to both glean handy tips about how to easily and properly prepare lean cuts of red meat and to gain the confidence to pass on the theory and practical knowledge to pupils within the Champions in Schools programme.”

Jennifer Robertson, Health and Education Co-ordinator, Quality Meat Scotland added: “It is to be hoped that the opportunity to gain invaluable culinary skills in the kitchen, including an appreciation of both the nutritional value and ease with which cuts of lean red meat can be prepared, will see more of Scotland’s top sportsmen and women within Champions in Schools keen to temporarily swap their running spikes, hockey sticks and bikes for aprons!”

Richard Orr, senior programme manager for Champions in Schools at Winning Scotland Foundation, added: “The cookery master-class sessions will prove invaluable to the athletes.  Designed to be both fun and informative and whether a cycling or judo hopeful for Glasgow 2014, these cookery sessions will give individuals invaluable confidence and knowledge.  Learning how to eat to win, they will leave inspired and hopefully with the ability to impart their newly gained, hard earned culinary prowess to children in Scottish classrooms up and down the country.”

This is the first time that Winning Scotland Foundation’s Champions in Schools programme and Quality Meat Scotland have organised a cookery master-class for athlete ambassadors.  In its sixth year, the programme is currently embedded in over 20 local authorities and to date has reached over 15,000 pupils.

Caption: Holly Cram, left, and Delhi 2010 cycling silver-medallist Charline Joiner taking part in the cookery masterclass.

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