Team Pendock, from Pendock Primary School, near Staunton, are the winners of the recent Feed the Warriors competition run as part of the British Food Fortnight and Worcester Warriors Healthy Schools' initiative.
Year 6 pupils from every primary school in Worcestershire were invited to enter a competition, for which the winners will actually prepare a meal for some of the Warriors players!
The purpose of the competition and its link to rugby was to create a nutritious and balanced menu for the Warriors first team squad, using locally-sourced British-grown ingredients.
"A lot has happened recently with raising the awareness of the importance of a balanced diet in schools," says community development manager Dan Zaltzman. "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, it's hoped that we can help teachers to successfully get the message across."
All entries were highly commended by acclaimed chef and restaurateur Patrick McDonald and Warriors' strength & conditioning coach Keir Hansen.
"Team Pendock took the prize because of their local food usage and knowledge of why the ingredients were included within their menu," says Pat McDonald.
The menu consisted of:
• Spicy sweet potato and butternut squash soup
• Lamb and mint burgers with lamb sausages in granary rolls
• Salad and tomato salsa
Hillworth Farm foods, local wholesale greengrocers Clives Farm shop and even the children's grandparents supplied the ingredients, and reasons for using the ingredients included the following:
• Chickpeas provide slow release carbohydrates to give energy
• Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that don't drain away when cooking soup
• Lamb provides protein that helps build and repair the body
• Locally-produced produce cuts down on pollution by having to travel less.
The judges also highly commended Hanley Swan C of E Primary for an excellent entry. The winners will now be invited to join Patrick and cook the winning menu for some members of the first team during one of their weekly training schedules.
They'll follow that with a tour behind the scenes and a chance to meet the players themselves to see what they thought of the food!