Gold medal Olympian Dani King launches national healthy breakfast campaign at Bury Church High School (From Bury Times)
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Gold medal Olympian Dani King launches national healthy breakfast campaign at Bury Church High School
BREAKFAST came with a twist at a Bury high school this morning – with pupils eating the most important meal of the day alongside Olympic gold medalist Dani King.
The world champion cyclist thrilled students when she came to Bury Church of England High to launch a campaign encouraging teens to eat a healthy breakfast every day.
The Better Breakfast initiative say more than one third (34 per cent) of teenagers start the day with energy drinks, chocolate and crisps – with 40 per cent skipping breakfast altogether.
And Southampton-born Dani, who won a gold medal in the team pursuit at the London 2012 Olympics, wants every school in the country to have a breakfast club like Bury Church’s.
Dani, 22, said: “The campaign’s statistics really shocked me – you do not think about children walking to school with a can of Red Bull for their breakfast.
“For me breakfast has always been so important not just physically but mentally because it is the fuel your body needs to get you through the day.
“As a cyclist if I do not give my body enough fuel I get to the stage when I cannot push myself any further.
Dani told pupils about the importance of providing your body with enough fuel – with her preferred choice porridge with fruit and berries.
She added: “Children who skip breakfast or choose a high-calorie snack are also much more likely to be reaching for unhealthy alternatives come lunchtime.
“Skipping breakfast because you do not have the time should not be an option – even a banana or a pint of milk is much better than having nothing at all.”
Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is also supporting the year-long campaign – a partnership between Make Mine Milk and national charity BeatBullying.
Bury Church headteacher Reverend Craig Watson said the launch event had confirmed the school’s commitment to running a breakfast club for pupils.
He added: “All our pupils are encouraged to attend because we know the significance of them starting the day right and being able to eat in a safe and secure environment.
“All of us work better if we have had breakfast – so we encourage youngsters to have healthy options but recognise it is more important for them to have something than nothing.”
Year 11 student Emily Kay, 15, and year seven pupil Olivia Zuniga, 12, both were delighted to attend the breakfast club and chat to Dani.
Brandlesholme teenager Emily said: “I come to breakfast club every day because it is a chance to meet up with my friends and catch up on homework.
“I have breakfast at home and tend to have bananas on toast, waffles or cereal because I know how important it is to eat something in the morning for my concentration.”
Olivia, from Radcliffe, also attends the breakfast club every day because a new school bus route means she arrives for her lessons early – and most days chooses a bacon sandwich.
She said: “It just keeps me going until it is time to have my lunch so I would never think about skipping breakfast.
“It was an amazing opportunity to meet Dani because most people would never have the chance to speak to an Olympian.”
For more information on healthy breakfasts: go to bda.uk.com and for more information on the Make Mine Milk initiative go to makeminemilk.co.uk
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