OAK Healthy Active Lifestyles

The Panthers on the Prowl Healthy Active Lifestyles program aims at providing quality education and improving awareness on nutrition, diet and physical activity for children in the wider Penrith area. The program encourages children and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices whilst reinforcing the importance of physical fitness through regular exercise. The Healthy Active Lifestyles program targets and visits at least 10 schools per year that involves approximately 1500 students.

Research shows that for children aged 5-17 years, being physically active every day can have significant positive emotional and intellectual benefits such as; improved self-esteem and confidence, assists with management of depression, anxiety and stress, and improved concentration. A healthy active lifestyle also has helpful social benefits as it; provides opportunities for fun with friends and family, it is also a proven factor in reducing levels of anti-social behaviour, including aggressive and disruptive actions. The more obvious health benefits include; promoting healthy growth and development, strong muscles and bones, and improved coordination and movement skills. Most significantly healthy active lifestyles reduce the risk of disease, such as diabetes, and unhealthy weight gain as well as other harmful health-risk behaviours associated with eating and diet.

In its practical implementation, the Healthy Active Lifestyles team assists targeted schools to implement a research informed strategic healthy lifestyle program. Professional development and in-service support is provided for school teachers as they implement these school-based programs. During their involvement with the program students and staff receive education on anthropometric testing, diet and nutrition. Parents of participating students are also invited to a session with a dietician and Panthers players to discuss specialised aspects of physical training and diet. Testing and data collection for measuring of improvement in physical fitness levels occurs at the end of the term.

The overall aims of the Healthy Active Lifestyles program are to;

  • develop students understanding of healthy lifestyle choices relating to diet and nutrition;
  • assist schools with curriculum development in the subject of physical education;
  • provide professional fitness and nutrition education to parents, teachers;
  • promote the healthy active lifestyle message through Panther player attendance at Healthy Active Lifestyle Program activities in a mentoring role.

Each year as part of the Healthy Active Lifestyle program, a full day Sport Expo is conducted at Panthers Stadium to promote wider participation in community sports. The Expo targets school children in Years 5 and 6 from the schools participating in the Healthy Active Lifestyle Program. Over 40 development officers and coaches from 15 different sports provide students with an opportunity to try new and exciting sports, with the aim that they will find something that they can get further involved in outside of school.

The Panthers on the Prowl – Healthy Active Lifestyles Program is coordinated and administered by our qualified Physical Education Teacher, Mr Darren Horgan. For more information feel free to contact Darren at Panthers on the Prowl (02) 4725 6421 or the General Manager of Panthers on the Prowl, Brad Waugh (02) 4725 6420.