From Hot Dogs to Healthy Kids
For years, the Gungahlin Jets Australian Football Club had the “classic sports club canteen”. Their menu consisted of pies, hot dogs, sausage rolls, lollies, chocolates, chips, soft drinks and energy drinks. The ‘healthy options’ were scarce.
Yet, as Fundraising, Social and Volunteer Coordinator Aimee Kable says, they felt it was at odds with the health messages they wanted to send their members.
“As a club, we promote being active as part of a healthy lifestyle but then we were selling 100% unhealthy food options at our canteen (except water), which was hypocritical to what we were trying to promote.”
THE HEALTHY OPTION
Since the club joined Good Sports, they have completely overhauled their canteen menu. Not only including healthy options but vegetarian and gluten free options as well. Players can snack on fruits and homemade vegetable-based dishes that not only taste great but have boosted a sense of community and comradery within the club.
“By making people feel that they too are part of the change and are responsible for its success, they are more motivated and help the club strive to the challenge,” Aimee says. “Parents and kids are increasingly cooking and contributing healthy options for sale at the canteen … making healthy soups, healthy pizza slices, savoury muffins, wholegrain baked goods and more.
“Not only do our patrons enjoy these yummy options, it’s helping to build a great inclusive community club where everyone was contributing to the success of the club.”
GETTING WITH THE GOOD SPORTS PROGRAM
Aimee says the program has helped the club — which is run entirely by volunteers. The Good Sports program has gained a positive reputation within the community, which in turn is helping to boost fundraising. And now, as the recipients of the 2017 Good Sports Healthy Eating Club of the Year, Aimee hopes they will be able to attract even more sponsors and members.
“As we do not have the backing of a licenced club, we are a relatively poor club always struggling to make ends meet,” she says. “Receiving this award is a testament to all the hard work and hours that is put in by our volunteers. We do it for the love of our kids and to build a great community. Seeing healthier and fitter kids each week and happier families is priceless.”
Good Sports awarded the club $10,000 in recognition of their achievement. Aimee says this will be spent on new football equipment and a new tabletop oven so they can continue to provide healthy and delicious food in their canteen.