The Irish FA and Northern Ireland’s international teams are partnering with M&S Food to use the power of football to help families make healthier eating choices as part of an ‘Eat Well, Play Well’ campaign being rolled out across the English, Scottish and Welsh FA’s as well.

The multi-year deal will see M&S Food, the association and the teams shine a light on what players eat to help inspire families to eat healthier.

In a survey to accompany the announcement, it emerged that 53 per cent of people in Northern Ireland are concerned about family health and 40 per cent are keen to get nutritious food into their diets.

The ‘Eat Well, Play Well’ campaign with the Irish FA is packed with initiatives, from in-store exclusives where budding sports stars can find out their favourite players’ recipes and eating plans to online insights where players, managers and legends share their favourite Eat Well products.

“Nutrition in football has come a long way since I was a player in the late 1980s and ’90s,” said Northern Ireland Senior men’s Team Manager Ian Barraclough. “Our post-match meal was less sophisticated than it is today.”

“Our current players are put on specific programmes to give them the best possible fuel for matches and to help them recover after the game, which is so very different to my day.”

“The players are such icons in Northern Ireland and I think this partnership with M&S Food and Eat Well will help give the budding footballers of the future a real insight into what their heroes are eating and inspire them to eat and train the very best they can.”

“By harnessing the influence of the players as role models we want to encourage children and families to make healthier food choices through choosing Eat Well,” added Stuart Machin, CEO of M&S.

“Our work with the Irish FA is much more than a sponsorship,” added Nicola Finlay, Regional Manager in Northern Ireland.

“We want to help change the health of the nation and the first step is to further increase the number of products with the Eat Well flower and make it easier for customers to spot them.”

“Shoppers in Northern Ireland will be able to pick up specific national recipe cards in store so they can replicate their favourite player meals at home – whether that is breakfast, lunch or dinner. Budding stars can even find out what Eat Well products Northern Ireland players consume at training camps.”

M&S have been a partner of the domestic game of rugby with Munster rugby since 2015.





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