Schools ‘Game Changer’ project gets off to a real flying start

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A scheme that has so far taught children in ten Northern Ireland schools to cook game has been hailed a success.

The Game Changer Project was launched in Northern Ireland in November last year as a result of the success of a similar initiative in England which aims to teach 60,000 youngsters nationally to cook game by 2020.

The project is a partnership between Taste of Game and The Food Teachers Centre and has ensured that pheasant now features on the GCSE national curriculum.

The Game Changer team has so far provided masterclasses for approximately 30 teachers and nearly 270 pupils across Northern Ireland.

Baronscourt Estate in Co Tyrone, very kindly donated 1,000 pheasant and duck to enable pupils to learn how to prepare and cook game.

During a recent visit to a school in Omagh, Lord Hamilton of Baronscourt Estate said: “It is fantastic to see children in Northern Ireland being introduced to the benefits of healthy, nutritious game meat.

“This project is teaching them the skills to prepare and cook game and it would be fantastic if they could develop a life-long passion for game meat. The estate was delighted to help in any way we could and we hope the project will continue to go from strength to strength in Northern Ireland.”

Annette Woolcock, head of Taste of Game, said: “We have been thrilled with the response from Northern Ireland schools but we couldn’t have launched the project without the generosity of Baronscourt Estate. It is a great opportunity for a generation of students to learn about and taste game.”

Tommy Mayne, project ambassador for the scheme in Northern Ireland, said: “The response from schools has been phenomenal and we have received a very warm welcome from both teachers and their pupils, some of whom have never seen a pheasant or a wild duck.

“They now have a better understanding of game meat and where it comes from.

“The project has provided a fantastic opportunity to highlight the many benefits of locally-sourced, sustainable game and many pupils and teachers have been pleasantly surprised at just how good game is to eat.”