Citizen of the Year urges dads to sign up to health program

Mar 7 2012

Local sporting coach and 2012 Aberdeen Citizen of the Year Shane Lloyd is putting his weight behind a program being rolled out in the Muswellbrook-Scone region this month to help dads become healthier and be better role models for their children.

Mr Lloyd lost more than seven kilograms in the award-winning Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids program last year – a partnership between Coal & Allied, Hunter Medical Research Institute, the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health, and the community.

Each program includes seven sessions, focusing on weight loss for dads, healthy eating, and physical activity sessions designed to help dads and their children bond.

Healthy Dads, Healthy Kidswill begin in Aberdeen on 20 March 2012, with registrations closing 12 March.

Lead investigator Professor Philip Morganfrom the University of Newcastle said he was proud to hold the program in Aberdeen for the first time and help achieve some great results for local fathers and their children.

“We’ve chosen Aberdeen as it is midway between Muswellbrook and Scone so we hope to get as many dads as possible from these areas to sign up,” Professor Morgan said.

“Dads have a critically important role in developing healthy eating habits, and understanding how to promote age-appropriate physical activity with their children.

“While improved family health is a significant outcome from the program, the best reward of all is that dads are spending more time with their kids as they learn about healthy food and exercise together.”Mr

Lloyd, who received the Citizen of the Year honour on Australia Day for his longstanding involvement in sporting organisations in the area, said he participated in the program in Muswellbrook last year with his two daughters Kate, 11, and Anna, 7.

“I’ve always had a strong passion for health and fitness in the community, being involved in Aberdeen Little Athletics, Muswellbrook Touch Football, Aberdeen Rugby League Club, Aberdeen Cricket Club, and Group 21 Rugby League,” Mr Lloyd said.

“I saw an ad in the paper asking dads to sign up to the program and I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend time with my children and reinforce the health values important to living a happy and balanced life.

“As someone who has been around sport for a long time as a player, coach, and administrator, I have met a lot of families and I’ve seen the positive impacts on the health and wellbeing of children who have parents that lead by example.

“As we all get busier, it’s easy to get complacent about your health and not spend enough quality time with your family – the great thing about this program is that it makes you commit and we’re all better for it.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.