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Footy legend kicks off kids' day to a good start

Melbourne Demons star and Red Cross Ambassador Neville Jetta thrilled a group of Melbourne kids at their school breakfast club.

Thursday November 26, 2015

Melbourne Demons star and Red Cross Ambassador Neville Jetta has thrilled a group of Melbourne kids when he turned up at a school breakfast club to show kids the importance of getting their day off to the best possible start.

Jetta joined the kids at their daily breakfast, which Red Cross volunteers organise at school for children who might otherwise go hungry. Afterwards, he told us "As an AFL player, if you're one or two percent off with your diet, then you're not going to be able to perform to your best ability on game day. That's pretty relevant to school as well."

The school principal, Linda Baker, agreed: "If our students come to school without breakfast it's so much harder for them to engage in their learning. All the research in education says that it's the early morning where children are most tuned in, and without breakfast that just doesn't happen for our children."

Red Cross coordinates more than 170 Good Start Breakfast Clubs nationally, providing a healthy breakfast to children who might otherwise go without. Over 1,200 volunteers help to serve breakfast to up to 5,000 children each year, helping them to thrive at school while addressing food security issues in vulnerable communities.

On the day of Jetta's visit, he also generously donated a special early morning training session for some lucky fundraisers, who ran for Red Cross at the Melbourne Marathon a few weeks ago.

He took the fundraisers, Nick and Jadie, through their paces at a unique training session before bringing them along to the breakfast club.

"It was fantastic to experience the breakfast club today," Nick said.

"I think it's a fabulous thing… everyone seems to be having a great time and they were particularly excited this morning to have Neville Jetta in there signing autographs for them. It seems like it's a great program that everyone enjoys so it's great."

"I like the fact that Red Cross helps everybody," Jadie, a second fundraiser added.

"I run for Red Cross because I see it as my way of giving back to the organisation. This is my third year doing [the Melbourne Marathon]. I'm limited in time and I don't have the opportunity to volunteer so I like to raise money by pushing myself to the extreme to achieve something good for others."

Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing has partnered with Australian Red Cross to run the Good Start Breakfast Club for the past 12 years by generously donating nutritious food products, including breakfast cereals, soy milk and spreads, and providing the program with financial support.

Find out more about breakfast clubs.

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