N'Zogbia cooks up a storm as he helps relaunch Villa Vitality
Charles N'Zogbia cooked up a storm as he lent his support to the relaunch of the club's healthy-living scheme, Villa Vitality.
The partnership programme between Villa and Birmingham NHS, which aims to educate kids about eating and living right, has received fresh funding from the Premier League Charitable Fund, enabling it to continue for another three years.
N'Zogbia was on hand in B6 to celebrate the news and he got involved fully in the activities on show.
He donned his chef's whites to help serve up some yummy hummus before showing the children on hand how to use the mini gym responsibly.
He said: "I'm happy to promote Villa Vitality.
"Eating right and doing exercise is very important for kids and it's important that they learn about how to eat the right things and exercise properly because it will be good for them.
"I have younger brothers and I was a kid myself so I know what it's like, wanting to eat sweets and have fizzy drinks and those kinds of things instead of healthier food.
"Schemes like this show them how to be healthier and that is important. It can change their habits and that will help them now and when they grow up."
Villa Vitality, which was first established in 2005, has proved to be so successful in teaching children the necessary skills in how to improve diet and physical activity through links with football that partners have given the green light for it to continue.
The relaunch event also included keynote speeches by Cllr Steve Bedser, cabinet member for wellbeing and Dr Adrian Phillips, director of public health for the city.
Dr Phillips said: "This is a great scheme. Children have access to a wide range of different activities, including a 'community food academy' where they can have fun cooking up healthy dishes, an Ice Gym - a purpose-built facility for kids - and the Community Radio, where they can produce and record their own shows around the subject of the healthy changes they have made.
"In addition they get to participate in physical activity with Villa coaches, as well as a classroom-based interactive healthy-eating session.
"This rounded approach has proved to be so successful that the scheme is now set to continue its good work."
Cllr Bedser continued: "This scheme was developed as one of a range of measures to tackle the rising levels of childhood obesity.
"Current figures for Birmingham show almost one in four children aged 10-11 are obese. We're determined to face up to that challenge and the Villa Vitality project is a fantastic example of how we can work with children, their families and schools to bring about healthy lifestyle changes."
Ravi Masih, community relations manager at Villa, added: "Villa Vitality has formed a key part of our health agenda since 2005, seeing over 20,000 children go through the scheme.
"The success rate of the programme in affecting change in behaviour and lifestyle has proven why such an initiative is so important.
"Thanks to Birmingham Public Health, the Premier League, Premier League Charitable Fund and the PFA we are able to continue this fantastic programme for another three years.
"It has shown how inspirational Villa Park can be and the power of the Aston Villa brand to encourage positive social change.
"Having Charles here has been the proverbial cherry on top. I think he enjoyed his time in the kitchen too!
"As we embark on another three years we are very excited about making Villa Vitality more successful than ever before."
Make sure you're here to back the boys against Norwich City.
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