Millwall Community Trust is helping fans to tackle their weight, get healthier and be happier by joining FIT FANS, a FREE 12-week programme being delivered this May and June at The Den.
Launched in January 2020 at 30 clubs in England, the EFL Trust’s FIT FANS programme is supported by over £2.25m of National Lottery funding from Sport England and will aim to use the magnetism of football to tackle obesity levels in over 10,000 fans across the UK.
A total of 36.4m people (61.4% of England’s population) live within 10 miles of an EFL ground, with four in 10 residents within this catchment area falling into the most-deprived population groups.
Sport England has identified lower physical activity participation rates among people living on low incomes and that is why they have joined forces with the EFL Trust network to help people create a long-term healthy and active lifestyle.
FIT FANS is one of a number of initiatives to tackle lower physical activity participation rates among people living on low incomes, which is one of Sport England’s key priorities.
FIT FANS is the operating name in England and Wales for Football Fans in Training, which was created in Scotland by the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Professional Football League Trust.
The programme shows individuals how to:
- Improve their eating habits by reducing portion sizes and swapping fatty and sugary foods for fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods
- Achieve at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. They receive weekly exercise sessions at their club for 12 weeks, and follow a personal pedometer-based walking programme that encourages them to fit physical activity into their daily lives
- Use tried-and-tested behaviour change techniques to become more active and improve their diet. These include regular self-monitoring of their weight and pedometer step counts and setting SMART goals to make changes that can be sustained long-term.
The 12-week programme gives fans unprecedented access to their club and a look behind-the-scenes.
“We are delighted to host the 12-week programme at The Den and Lions Centre in partnership between the club, the Community Trust and the EFL Trust,” said Sean Daly, CEO for the Community Trust.
“FIT FANS is a superb initiative to get people moving and active. The health and wellbeing benefits that come from regular physical exercise makes a genuine difference to people’s lives, and we look forward to welcoming fans and our community onto this free programme.”
Mike Evans, Director of Operations at EFL Trust, said: “FIT FANS is an example of our potential to make a really significant contribution to the health of our communities. We are excited by the prospect of rolling the programme our across our network and reaching many thousands of men and women.”
Patrick Brosnan, Sport England’s Football Lead, said: “We are delighted to see the success FIT FANS has had in its pilot phase at five EFL clubs in England and hope that the National Lottery funding to the EFL Trust will go a long way in harnessing football fans’ love for the game to support more people to lead healthy and active lives.”
For more details and to sign up, please contact David Streetley on firstname.lastname@example.org.