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Olympic insight and some food for thought
10 December 2016

Athletics WA: Nutrition Workshop

10 December 2016, DSR

story by Andrew Ford, Water Polo WAIS scholarship holder

A group of aspiring young athletes came together on Saturday 10th December for one of the final Developing Champions workshops of the year. The group was diverse in age and disciplines however shared a common interest in pursuing their dreams of sporting success. Lead Facilitator Joe McCarthy and I engaged the group in discussion in order to complete the nutrition module.

The day began with a special visit from Anneliese Rubie who represented Australia in the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Anneliese gave the group an account of her progression as an athlete from talented youngster to a professional competitor. This detailed the transition from idolising the best runners in the world to challenging them for first place.


The nutrition module completed was the aimed at giving the group an awareness of how different foods can support their development and performance needs. Following introductions, Joe interacted with the athletes about the nutrition value of the three main fuels for the modern athlete – fats, carbohydrates and proteins. An activity the group loved was to sort varying foods into brackets of high, medium and low carbohydrate sources. For each every-day food, the groups of three discussed between themselves and came to a decision before submitting the answer. It was pleasing to see that all the teams were able to identify correctly over half of the options. An impressive feat given that myself and Joe were surprised by many of the foods’ content. This game was repeated with attention turned to the protein levels of different snacks and meals.

To finish, the squad learnt about the dangers of supplement use in sport. It was stressed that they cannot be too careful with the foods that they consume. There are few instances where supplements can benefit health and the athletes were advised that finding improvements to training and technique will always be more successful in boosting performance.  Ultimately, the group learnt, they are entirely responsible for ensuring that they are competing in the true spirit of sport.

As a whole, the workshop was a positive exercise and the squad were very engaged and this will benefit them into the future.  

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