Dunedin rugby clubs promote healthy culture

Published: Fri 21 Oct 2016 03:40 PM
Media Release October 2016
Dunedin rugby clubs promote healthy culture
Several rugby clubs have received recognition from Southern DHB and WellSouth for their commitment to creating a healthy culture within their club.
Alhambra, Pirates, Southern and Kaikorai all participated in a recent pilot project called Game On! Peak Performance On and Off the Field. Game On! was developed specifically for sport clubs by the Southern DHB’s public health unit (Public Health South) and WellSouth to increase awareness of the importance of, and benefits to creating a healthy culture.
Game On! supports club management to develop healthy club policies and to comply with public health legislation. The players and coaches also receive free presentations from some of Otago’s leading experts in sporting health including;
• Dr Kirsty Fairburn, a High Performance Sports Dietitian;
• Natalie Fraser, a mental skills coach for High Performance Sport NZ;
• Matt Carrington, physiotherapist specializing in exercise prescription and rehabilitation;
• Ryan Martin, a game changer in rugby culture and expert in building club pride.
A recent evaluation of the pilot found that player confidence increased around their nutrition, recovery and injury prevention, and mental health. After attending the free presentation more than two thirds of players are considering reducing the amount of alcohol they consume after games and training. Furthermore, Alhambra Rugby Club have decided to use their reward towards upgrading their kitchen so they can provide their players with a better variety of food.
Zoe Whatarau who attended the high performance workshop at Alhambra and said:
“I thought the workshop was awesome, really enjoyed the speakers and how they approached us without being too pushy about how bad alcohol is.”
Conrad Stedman from Pirates felt that
“As far as the program was concerned it was well organised and informative without being dictatorial. To have experts come along and advise on conditioning, health and wellbeing for our players along with relevant information about the responsibilities for
the management of our club that assists the players and the community can only be beneficial. I would encourage other sporting clubs to make the effort as it can only make our players better on and off the field while providing a greater opportunity to succeed.”
Collaboration is key to changing New Zealand’s rugby club culture. Otago Rugby Football Union, the NZ Health Promotion Agency, and Anchor Milk are all key players in the delivery of this program and are passionate about the health of the sporting community. These organisations acknowledge that a healthy club culture benefits individuals, families, and communities as well as the economy.
Due to the success of the pilot, Game On! will continue next year with the added support of the New Zealand Police Managers’ Guild Trust. If your club is interested in participating in the project contact Public Health South or WellSouth.

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