Paralympian gold-medallist Giles Long MBE has launched a new international-themed school dinner menu to help inspire the next generation of Hertfordshire Olympians.
At the launch of the project on 18 January 2012 at the Lee Valley White Water Centre Giles said: “Being the best is about paying attention to detail and food is one of those details. Sport is about getting the maximum you can out of your body and the right food as fuel is vital in that process. That is why I’m delighted to support this initiative.”
The launch also included the formal presentation of the London 2012 Inspire Mark for the project. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hertfordshire County Council's school meal service - Hertfordshire Catering - is the only local authority catering organisation to be awarded the coveted Inspire Mark.
Designed by Hertfordshire Catering and Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners, the new menu will be in schools from 5 March to 16 March. During this two week food fest, pupils will sample foods from a number of different Olympic countries and learn about different cultures and customs.
The menu is part of a wider project called ‘The Good School Food Gold Medal Challenge’, which encourages pupils to pay tribute to past gold medal winners. As part of the challenge, every child who eats a school lunch during the two week period is entered into a draw to win one of over 400 great, official London 2012 prizes.
The challenge will finish on Team GB day (16 March) when all children who took part in the event will be presented with a signed certificate of achievement by Giles Long MBE - World, European and Paralympic Gold Medallist.
Chairman of the Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners Board, Derrick Ashley, said: “The aim of the project is to use the celebration of London 2012 to promote health and wellbeing through the provision of 2012 inspired healthy eating options in schools.
“It will also raise the awareness among young people of the disciplined dietary regimes of top athletes, help them to develop a deeper understanding of the cultures of various countries and regions around the world and hopefully introduce them to new tastes and educate their palates.”
Frances Button, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I’m very proud of our achievement at being awarded this coveted 'Inspired by London 2012’ mark. I hope that all pupils and students in Hertfordshire really enjoy our inspirational and innovative programme. The benefits of eating a healthy diet and exercising is widely reported, and to be able to offer our young people the chance to have fun and to be excited about these two lifestyle aspects is something Hertfordshire Catering is hugely committed to.”