Dunfermline Athletic

Pars Tackle Health

Photo: Rhys McCabe showing the pupils at Townhill Primary School how it`s done.

The ‘Pars Tackle Health’ programme aims to promote positive attitudes towards good health and fitness in primary school children, using professional footballers as role models. It helps to consolidate the Learning Outcomes covered in Health & Wellbeing, throughout their Primary School education.

Two DAFC players and a coach from the Pars Foundation visit each participating primary school, accompanied by former schoolteacher, Gennaro Giudice, who coordinates the workshops and introduces the players.

Lesson Outline:

1. Players describe a typical day in the life of a professional footballer, stressing the importance of a healthy diet, of drinking lots of water and of getting plenty of rest and sleep, as well as the benefits of regular physical exercise on health and wellbeing. A DVD may be used to show the players going through their daily training routines. The players also describe their match day preparations.

2. Q&A session, in which pupils are given the opportunity to ask the players questions relating to football and/or health and fitness.

3. Players and coach then take the class for a practical session, either in a games hall or outdoors. Players may demonstrate skills, which pupils can copy and practise, finishing with a small-sided game of football.

4. Pupils and players return to the classroom for a photo opportunity and autograph signings. Participating pupils will each receive a complimentary ticket for a forthcoming home match.

5. Evaluation forms, to be completed and returned to DAFC, are issued to the class and their teacher.

6. Resources for follow up work are sent to the class teacher, immediately after the visit.

Learning Outcomes
Diet – healthy eating is important as it produces positive benefits throughout life.
Physical Fitness – regular exercise is beneficial to all aspects of health and wellbeing.
Teamwork – learning to work constructively with others is an important life skill.
Motivation – the development of desire and focus is the key to success in any arena.

Season in Numbers (2016/17)
26 different Pars players visited 26 local primary schools, in 44 different classes and a total of 1141 pupils learned about lifestyle choices which impact on their Health & Wellbeing.

Kelty Primary School

The introduction and video clip really captured the pupils’ attention and they were fully engaged throughout the visit. The practical session was good fun and very well delivered. Team staff members were friendly towards the pupils and approachable. The players being honest and direct in their answers helped a very open Q&A session. The suggested questions for the pupils to ask players were very helpful. We discussed these before the visit.

Photo: Paul McMullan and Lewis Martin going through their paces at Kelty Primary School

Kelty Primary School
``I wish we’d had about an hour longer because the time went so fast! It was lots of good fun though. and thank you for the ticket to the next game. I think I will be there to support the team onwards.``

``I enjoyed the visit and it was great fun to play lots of games. Thank you for coming in ant teaching us about football and being healthy.``

``Even though I’m not personally into football, I loved to hear about what players go through every day and it’s actually quite interesting and cool.``

``Thank you for coming to visit my class and giving us some very useful tips and pointers about how to stay active and healthy. I enjoyed it very much.``

``You gave us lots of useful information about health. It was well presented and I think all of us will use these skills. You should keep doing this to help other pupils in other schools.``

Photo: Ryan Williamson and Gregor Tennant from Pars Foundation at Touch Primary School

Touch Primary School

Our pupils loved hearing about the players training sessions and match day routines. They got a real picture of a footballer’s life and the dedication required to achieve your goals. Responses to pupils’ questions were detailed and linked to determination, motivation and the importance of health, nutrition and exercise. The skills session was absolutely brilliant, the DVD of the players in training was excellent and the follow up activities are much appreciated.

Photo: Joe Cardle and Gregor Tennant from Pars Foundation at Lynburn Primary School

Lynburn Primary School
The visit was very well prepared and we knew what to expect, thanks to the information received in advance. Our pupils enjoyed the Q&A session and listening to the players talking about their daily routine. Their answers relating to health were very helpful, especially with regard to energy drinks. We’ve had only a few issues since. All pupils were engaged, took part in the practical session and enjoyed it, including some who rarely participate in PE. The coach established a good rapport with the children and they responded well to his commanding voice.

The children were delighted with their complimentary match tickets and were all talking excitedly about the game on the following Monday – a great opportunity which most of them had never experienced.

Photo: Joe Cardle and Michael Moffat scouting for new talent at McLean Primary School

McLean Primary School
"The children thoroughly enjoyed listening to the players talk. It was pitched at an appropriate level and also emphasised the importance of health. Questions relating to health and football were answered honestly by the players. The children also absolutely loved the opportunity to play football with professional players. An added bonus was the autograph signing at the end and the comp tickets. I am also very grateful for the follow up activities DAFC provided. I couldn`t fault it."
Pupil comments:-
``Because I want to excel in sport I will start to follow in their footsteps and change my everyday diet (but not completely) and start to try really hard in sport to stay healthy.``
`` I enjoyed listening to the players talk and hearing about how much training they do and the healthy things they eat.``

"The information was really good and the football skills were amazing."
"Getting the chance to play football with real players was brilliant."
"I hope the players come for the whole day next time, instead of just the afternoon."
‘’I enjoyed hearing about the footballers daily life. It made me want to be healthier. I’m going to eat less junk food and exercise more.’’
‘’It was interesting to hear the players talking about growth mindsets and fixed mindsets because we’ve been learning about this in school.’’
‘’I enjoyed learning about their normal training days and the healthy food they eat. I’m going to start getting my 5 a day.’’
‘’We found out how important it is to be healthy and what we have to do to look after our health.’’

St Leonard`s Primary School
`` The children were very excited to hear from the players and the information they learned will be useful in the future. It was interesting to hear that the players use the `Growth Mindset` approach and this might be something to develop in future sessions. We try to embed this approach across the school and the children would be interested to learn how this can be used in `real life` contexts. We really enjoyed the afternoon and appreciate the generosity of the players and the club in providing these opportunities.``

Inverkeithing Primary School
``The players` talk was most impressive. The players were very articulate and pitched it at just the right level. The players engaged the children by asking them questions and responded well to those they were asked. The ``Pars Stars`` session on questioning prepared the children in constructing `open` questions, which invited good discussion.
The skills session was well organised, very professional and enjoyable. The children loved it. The format was excellent - everything worked really well - I couldn`t find fault with any of it."

Photo: Rhys McCabe and Kallum Higginbotham at Inverkeithing Primary School

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