Flinders nutritionists help West Adelaide FC eat like champions

West Adelaide players tuck in at their menu launch last night.
West Adelaide players tuck in to their Flinders University developed menu last night.

West Adelaide Footballers, including former Adelaide Crows star Jason Porplyzia, will eat like champions this season thanks to nutrition and dietetics researchers at Flinders University.

In a first of its kind project for the SANFL, experienced Flinders sports dietitian Dr Kathryn Jackson and final year Dietetics and Nutrition student, Annabel Murphy, have collaborated with West Adelaide to provide tailored nutrition that will help them achieve the best results possible on the pitch.

West Adelaide Football Manager Andrew Marks said he hoped the new menu, which is being served up by club chef Greg McKeever and was launched at West Adelaide last night (19-3-15), will give his players the edge in the upcoming season.

“It is becoming common amongst AFL clubs to hire a full time chef to provide their players the appropriate meals that are of benefit to improve their performance,” said Mr Marks.

“The SANFL, being the second best league outside of the AFL, is always looking to replicate AFL ideas in our semi-professional setting.

“Our players train after work and during preseason every night of the week looking for the edge over their opponents.

“It’s for that reason that we have worked with Flinders University, and MGM – the group which leases the West Adelaide Football Club Bistro – to develop the ‘Eat Like A Champion’ initiative.”

Jason Porplyzia, who returned to West Adelaide after ten seasons at the Adelaide Crows, said his experience at the highest level had shown him the importance of good nutrition for player performance.

“An important aspect of being a professional athlete is making sure you take care of your body,” he said. “To encourage this we need to ensure players have the best education and can make great choices in regards to their diet and nutrition requirements.

“This important step for any aspiring player is made considerably easier through initiatives like ‘Eat Like A Champion’.”

Dr Jackson said the project had given Ms Murphy valuable real life experience in food service, while also learning how to apply the principles of sports nutrition.

Click here to Watch Network 7’s news report on this story last night. 

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