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Food tips are a hit with young Staggies

By Hector MacKenzie

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THE importance of healthy eating to developing Ross-shire’s future footballing talent was drummed in to young players at a quirky ‘back to school’ session.

The University of the Highlands and Islands active health group hooked up with Ross County FC for a nutrition education session for players.

The event at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall included a cookery session with Dornoch Castle Hotel’s head chef, Grant MacNicol, and a presentation by the university’s registered dietitian, Kirsty Hickson.

Players also had their body composition analysed with specialised equipment from the university’s active health exercise lab.

Dr Daniel Crabtree, a research fellow in physical activity, worked with Gregor Campbell, Ross Coun-ty’s reserve team sport scientist, to organise the event.

Dr Crabtree said: “Following a healthy diet can be challenging for young athletes, especially for those living away from home. They may be unsure about what foods are good for them and how to prepare a healthy meal.

“The aim of this was to educate their young players about why maintaining a healthy diet is not only important for their athletic development, but also for their wellbeing.

“In addition, the players have learnt some key food preparation skills from Grant.”

Gregor Campbell, Ross County’s reserve team sport scientist, said: “As nutrition plays a pivotal role in how the players perform and recover on a daily basis, it made sense to utilise the great knowledge we have locally.”

Player Ben John-stone (17) said the session was “very helpful”.

He said: “We can use what we learned today when we are at home making food for ourselves.

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