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Health tips help young soccer stars

By Philip Murray

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FOOTBALL stars of the future will be fighting fit thanks to a new link-up between university nutritionists and Ross County.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is working with the Dingwall-based club’s reserve team to ensure their young players are aware of the dietary requirements they need to stay at peak fitness.

The university’s active health group organised a nutrition education session at the Highland Football Academy this week, which included a cookery session with Dornoch Castle Hotel’s award-winning head chef, Grant MacNicol, and a presentation by the UHI’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 County’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 was to support Ross County by educating 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 learnt some food preparation skills from Grant, which will help them to create healthy, home cooked meals.”

The UHI’s active health group was set up in 2017. The team has a dedicated lab with a range of state of the art equipment.

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