Velocity Football and Oxford City FC back healthy eating philosophy by appointing star chef Dan Craddock

Michelin star experience has been added into the kitchen at Velocity Football and Oxford City FC following the appointment of a new catering manager.

Students, players, and staff at the new education programme Velocity Football, plus Oxford City, and Ignite Sport UK will all be treated to a permanent healthy menu following the appointment of Dan Craddock. Dan will transform the menu at the Community Arena in Marston, Oxford, offering fresh, fun, and nutritious dishes daily.

Traditional food options will remain on the matchday menu for Oxford City fans and the healthy alternatives will also be made available to provide greater healthy options.  

Mancunian Dan joins Velocity Football, Oxford City, and Ignite Sport UK with a wealth of kitchen experience behind him. After serving as restaurant manager at the prestigious five-star Alexander House in West Sussex, Dan moved to Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to work at Michelin Star accredited hotel Mallory Court.

Food and beverage management roles at the prestigious Crazy Bear Group, which has a venue in Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, plus luxury Cornish hotel The Idle Rocks followed. But the opportunity to help transform football’s pie and chips culture appealed to Dan, who wants Velocity Football’s food and drink options to inspire other education providers in Oxfordshire and beyond.

The 36-year-old said: “It’s very rewarding to be given a blank canvas and ultimately transform an entire football club’s eating habits by introducing healthier alternatives to the traditional menu.

“Velocity Football offers youngsters in Oxfordshire the chance to create a career for themselves within a footballing environment. For me, looking after your health and refuelling sensibly is an essential part of working within sport which is why joining the team at Velocity appealed to me.

“This isn’t about making the food boring and bland. It’s about identifying the differing demands for each age group and serving healthy food that will encourage the next generation to cut out needless intake of sugar and salt that can be damaging to a person’s health.

“With my background in food, beverage, and restaurant management, I have the chance to progress and move the food forward at Velocity and Oxford City and offer healthier alternatives to improve students’ and players’ wellbeing.

“There has been a junk food culture in sport for years, but times are changing, and I am thrilled that Velocity Football has given me this opportunity.”

Catering Manager Dan Craddock. Photo by Jon Lewis.

The appointment of Dan forms part of Velocity Football’s strategy to provide a positive and nurturing environment for students to flourish. Velocity Football is an exciting revamped full-time educational academy for 16-18 year olds and 19-23 year olds that combines football and sport business with academia.

Justin said: “We want to give every student that enrols with Velocity Football the best possible environment in which to be the best they can be. Diet is an important part of wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle and it is a key part of our values. Appointing Dan will now enable Velocity Football, Oxford City, and Ignite Sport UK to provide healthy and nutritious meals that are tailored to our students’ and players’ individual programmes to help them develop.

“Dan’s appointment underlines our commitment to leading by example and we hope over time it will create positive change in our industry and in our students, players, colleagues, supporters, and guests lives. We play a big part of our community it is important we help promote positive change in this key area of peoples’ wellbeing.”

Velocity Football has been created in conjunction with partners Ignite Sport UK and Oxford City, who have been delivering education programmes for almost 20 years. Velocity will deliver separate full-time programmes for males and females, led by head coaches Mickey Lewis and Lauren Haynes.

Students will have the unique chance to join the football club’s academy, in addition to receiving wider development via coaching modules, academic education, and work experience within the football club. Education is delivered via face to face teaching with additional support provided by education partners Virtual Learning UK.

You can read more about Dan’s appointment on the Oxford Mail too. Visit: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18679098.michelin-starred-chef-feed-oxford-city-fc/

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