As part of the British Food Fortnight and Worcester Warriors Healthy Schools' initiative, Year 6 pupils from every primary school in Worcestershire are to be invited to enter a competition for which the winners will prepare a meal for some of the Warriors players!
"With the increasing physical demands of Premiership rugby on players, the food and drink they nourish themselves with has become an increasingly important factor," says Dan Zaltzman, Community Manager, "even to the extent that hydration levels and the balance of certain nutrients are monitored by the conditioning staff at the club regularly."
British Food Fortnight runs from Saturday, September 23, to Sunday, October 8, and the purpose of the competition and its link to rugby is to create a nutritious and balanced menu for the first team squad here at Worcester Warriors, using locally-sourced, British-grown ingredients.
"A lot has happened recently with raising the awareness of the importance of a balanced diet in schools," Dan adds, "and many schools have worked very hard to address this.
But it's sometimes difficult to capture the imagination of the children and get them to fully understand how important good nutrition is. By using the positive role models of the players and the 'carrot' of being able to cook for them, we want to help teachers to get the message across successfully."
Participants will be asked to prepare a two-course menu consisting of a savoury soup and a main course dish. Ingredients must be sourced locally, and the reasons for choosing the dishes and an explanation of how the meal will provide plenty of nutrition for the mighty Worcester Warriors must be included.
All entries will be judged by highly-acclaimed chef and restaurateur Patrick McDonald and Warriors' Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator Keir Hansen. The winners will then be invited to join Patrick and cook the winning menu for some members of the first team during one of their weekly training schedules, followed by a tour behind the scenes and a chance to meet the players themselves to see what they thought of the food!