MSNN Members Blog
Submitted by Jennie COwan, RD
Having the opportunity to work with Special Olympics in Swan River has been very rewarding. The response from the athletes and coaching staff has been tremendous. Working with this group is about the ability to play, enjoyment and sportsmanship. The first contact with the head coach June asking for basic sport nutrition with a focus on healthy beverages. Many of the athletes are on multiple medications and at floor hockey tournaments often there were athletes needing medical attention for dehydration.
Our first session was basic sport nutrition with key messages to include all food groups and minimize treat foods. Our second session was all about hydration and the best choices with a red/amber/green visual. I introduced hydration testing and handed out cups with a promise to return the following week.
When I came back the next week to test first morning usg samples we asked the athletes who they thought would need to drink more. Working together as a team is key. They were right about who wasn’t drinking enough and plan to work together as a team to give more water break reminders.
Talking, sharing information, showing hydration levels with urine sampling and a colour chart combined with snack packs to demonstrate healthy options has worked well with this team. Starting the conversation with healthy drink options, giving visual guidelines with how much extra fluid is needed turned into a conversation about packed lunches. The athletes left the session with a hydration plan and ideas for bagged lunches. At tournaments so far all of the athletes have stayed healthy with no medical emergencies related to nutrition and all were happy with the knowledge. Go TIGERS!!!