Anthony Laffranci and other Titans sign autographs for Fingal Head Public School students as part of their One Community Carnival initiative.
Anthony Laffranci and other Titans sign autographs for Fingal Head Public School students as part of their One Community Carnival initiative. Blainey Woodham

Sporting heroes welcome

TWEED Shire primary school principals have said they will continue to welcome sporting celebrities into their schools, despite negative comments by former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello.

Mr Costello said in an article published on The Age website that footballers should not be used as role models for school students.

“What are the clubs thinking when they send them (footballers) to schools to give guidance on life skills?” Mr Costello said.

“Any right-thinking parent would quake with fear to hear that footballers were coming to their daughter’s school to give a little bit of inspiration.”

However, our local schools disagree and value the lessons their students can gain in workshops with their sporting heroes.

Tweed Heads Public School principal Belinda Mirana said the students gained valuable lessons from Gold Coast Suns players when they visited the school earlier this year.

“They ran through some of the AFL skills for the kids and the kids had a really good question and answer session with them for about 30 minutes,” Ms Mirana said.

Banora Point Public School principal Dean Files believes visits from the various football clubs make kids realise they can aspire to achieve at the highest level.

“My experience has been with the Titans and the Suns and we’ve never had anything but a good experience,” Mr Files said.

“They are polite, they interact with the kids and they teach about keeping a healthy lifestyle, and they are always professional.”

Health and nutrition expert at Southern Cross University, Holly Muggleston, said it was important sports stars realised the impact they could have on the food choices of kids and their parents.

“We do know that mass media and sporting celebrity can shape our perceptions of our food and drink and our health,” Ms Muggleston said. “The role of any celebrity has a lot to answer for in influencing our young adolescents and in Australia we really attach sports celebrities with hero status. “Celebrity endorsement implies that they use the product they are marketing and that it contributes to their success.

“This is not always the case.”



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