Recommended age group: 11–12
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Diet of a Champion activity sheets.


Start the lesson off by getting young people to discuss what they think having a 'healthy body' means. Encourage them to think about healthy eating, physical fitness and having a healthy mind. Each group can feed back to the rest of the class.

Part 1: Choose your cards right

  • Divide young people into small groups and give each group a set of cards.
  • In groups, young people must sort their Respect Yourself cards into different piles which they can put into five categories.
  • After each group has sorted their cards, allow young people to walk around the classroom to have a look at how other groups have sorted their cards.
  • Initiate a whole-class discussion to talk about which cards they have grouped with what and why. Note, there is a Teacher support sheet (food categories) to assist with this activity.

Part 2: Diet of a Champion

Share with the group the menus from the Diet of a champion resource sheet or Diet of a champion PowerPoint of athlete 1 (swimmer) and/or athlete 2 (athlete). Without revealing that these are the diets of an athlete/athletes, discuss the diet/s asking a series of key questions:

  • Who do you think eats this?
  • What do you think they look like?
  • What do you think they do for a job?
  • Do you think it is a healthy diet?
  • What would happen if you swapped diets and ate this?

Reveal that athlete 1 is the holder of multiple Olympic gold medals and holds world records in swimming and that athlete 2 is the holder of multiple Olympic gold medals and holds world records in athletics.

  • Does this surprise you? Why?
  • Why do you think that they eat so much?

Next, show the group images of the diet of the Team GB Rowing team as detailed on the Diet of a champion resource sheet 2, Diet of a champion PowerPoint. Reveal that the diet is followed by Team GB's heavy weight rowers, explaining that they won lots of medals at the Olympics in 2012 and have continued to be medal holders at the rowing world championships. If there is time watch the men's coxless four in action at London 2012.

Discuss the following:

  • Do you think this is a healthier diet? Why?
  • What do you think about the quantity of food?
  • Why might they eat so much?

Show the group the Teacher support sheet (dietary requirements) and the Comparison chart of a Rugby player and a Marathon Runner's diet on the second page. Discuss these with the group.

Part 3: My Wellbeing

  • Hand out a blank diagram of the Health and wellbeing sheet to every young person.
  • Talk to young people about being healthy and all the things which contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Young people can draw and annotate their body diagram with all the things they need to do and have, or put in their body, to be healthy (e.g. rest, sleep, sport, food, friends, family).
  • Start a whole-class discussion so young people can feed back to each other about what they have drawn around their diagram of the body.

Encourage them to think about all the social, emotional and physical benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle and how they are all equally important. Encourage young people to set themselves two healthy targets to try and improve their own health and wellbeing e.g. to drink more water or to carry out more exercise.

Website links