A MISSION to use soccer to get more school children to drink milk was launched yesterday.
The scheme involves the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the National Dairy Council in a partnership to promote the school milk and dairy programme through the Eircom League of Ireland’s network of club promotions officers.
The FAI has been involved for many years in tackling childhood obesity by promoting a healthy balanced diet for young people.
Dairy council chief executive Helen Brophy said the school milk scheme has built a relationship with Ireland’s schools and school children over 25 years.
“Ireland has changed greatly over this time, but nutrition issues have become more important than ever. Many more children are now suffering from obesity than before while for others, an obsession with body image leads them to avoid foods like dairy that they mistakenly believe to be fattening,” she said.
The initiative is set to begin in September on a phased basis with local club promotions officers coordinating activities between clubs, dairies and schools.
Sligo Rovers, Finn Harps, Limerick 37, St Patrick’s Athletic and Monaghan are the first clubs involved. They will work through their local dairies, Connacht Gold, Donegal Creameries, Kerry Group, Glanbia and Town of Monaghan with local schools.
The aim of this programme is to increase the 85,000 students around the country participating in the school milk scheme by 35%-50%. It is projected that milk consumption can increase from the current 3.7 million litres to a potential 5.5m litres.
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