For the young man hailing from Western and Simbu province, the lesson he learnt in class on the day has inspired him to make an informed decision to maintain a healthy diet and to keep his body properly hydrated. The lessons delivered are part of the recently launched NRL Wellbeing program, an initiative managed by the National Rugby League (NRL) in partnership with General Electric (GE). Since its introduction last year, the program has gained much support from participating schools.
Peter Loko, Country Leader for GE in PNG, recently reiterated the company’s commitment to supporting NRL in delivering health and wellbeing lessons to schools around the country. “GE believes in educating children on the importance of living a healthy active lifestyle and enjoy coming to school, and is proud to partner with NRL” said Mr. Loko. “We must teach children to make healthy lifestyle choices so they can live a productive life and contribute meaningfully to their community”.
The Wellbeing program aims to improve mental wellness, physical activity, nutrition and positive relationships among school children using star NRL players in the likes of David Mead and Nene McDonald to emphasis key messages on health and wellbeing. NRL Pacific Program Manager Michael Asensio said “we are using the incredible power of rugby league to captivate the imagination of kids in classrooms, to engage them, to spread the message of eating, living and playing well so they can have a long, active and healthy life”.
Support has also come from our very own rugby league star and former SP Hunters captain Noel Zeming. Noel who recently graduated with a degree in Secondary Education believes the program is significant and will pave way for a healthy generation to come up. “As a rugby league player, I see that maintaining our health is very important. I think incorporating such a program into the education system will instil healthy eating habits in school children, assisting them to concentrate better and to be more active in class and on the field as well” he said.
As the school year begins, more students like McCarthy and his friends will soon be visited by NRL Wellbeing officers in Port Moresby and other regions in PNG to learn about the importance of eating healthy, living healthy and drinking plenty of water.