Students score exclusive AFL stadium visit

Students at the GWS headquarters

High school students from western Sydney have been treated to an exclusive visit and tour of the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants stadium.

The students watched AFL players train as a form of inspiration as part of their work with Western Sydney Local Health District’s SALSA (Students As Lifestyle Activists) program.

SALSA is a peer educational program that sees local students encouraging their younger peers to make healthy changes at their schools.

They joined Giants staff in timed sprints, a vertical jump test and kicked footballs on the field.

WSLHD SALSA co-founder Associate Professor Smita Shah shares a healthy snack with the students.

They finished up with an exclusive tour of the Giants stadium and facilities. SALSA co-founder Associate Professor Smita Shah said the students understand the important role their school and community plays in making healthy choices.

“They’ve identified what are the enablers and barriers which helps or stops them from being active and eating well,” Prof Shah said.

“The students are aware that opportunities to be physically active, access to local facilities such as parklands, bicycle paths and walking groups as well as the availability of healthy and affordable fresh food will help them maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

“Part of the students’ training involved sharpening the skills required to develop plans to improve healthy eating and physical activity behaviours at their school. They developed plans such as a table tennis tournament and a sports gala day.”

The leadership day at the Giants stadium was a collaboration between WSLHD’s Primary Health Care Education and Research Unit, The University of Sydney, high schools, the GWS Giants, Western Sydney Primary Health Network, and the Mount Druitt, Blacktown and Hills Medical Practitioners Associations.

For further information about the SALSA programs, click here.