Jonathan Woodgate this week launched a partnership between the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the School Food Trust.
The year-long partnership with the Trust's Million Meals campaign will encourage children in Haringey and surrounding inner city areas to choose healthy school meals through a series of workshops and assemblies run by Foundation coaches throughout 2010.
The partnership is the first time that the School Food Trust, the government agency responsible for transforming school food, has worked closely with a Premier League football club over a significant period of time.
'Woody' paid a visit to pupils at St. Paul's and All Hallows Infant School, Park Lane, Tottenham, to see class work on healthy eating and take part in a Q&A session, where he spoke about the food that an athlete eats. The children also received a display of amazing skills from our very own football freestyler, Billy Wingrove.
Defender 'Woody' said: "You need to eat the right foods to be able to perform well. Games are so fast and furious that you have to be at the peak of your condition. Any edge you can get on the opponent, whether it's better fitness, or better diet which is going to improve your fitness, you have to do it to win."
Million Meals is the School Food Trust's campaign to help schools to help themselves to increase their meal take up, with the ultimate aim of seeing one million more children eating healthy school meals by the end of 2010. Over 5,500 schools across the country have already signed up to Million Meals, gaining access to free resources and materials to encourage more pupils to try healthy school meals.
Grant Cornwell, Chief Executive of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: "We are delighted to be going into partnership with the School Food Trust. This partnership will strengthen the work we already do in our local community around healthy lifestyles by enabling us to work with a national body to promote the uptake of school meals using the transforming power of sport."
Judy Hargadon, the School Food Trust's Chief Executive, added: "We aim to encourage more young people to have healthy school dinners in order to help them do well and reach their potential. We hope our partnership with Spurs will encourage more schools to get on board.
"The team will encourage children to see the link between eating well and succeeding - Jonathan is living proof that if you want to get to the top you need to give your body the best fuel."
The London Borough of Haringey has above average levels of childhood obesity in Year 6 (23.2% of children, against the national average of 18%) and matches the national levels for those starting school (9.6% children obese, against national average of 10%).
Million Meals provides a wide range of effective free resources to help teach children about the importance of nutrition and make healthy eating a central part of school life. Schools can sign up to Million Meals at www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/millionmeals