Bristol Rovers are one of 30 clubs across the country helping members of the local community become healthier and happier, through a programme led by the English Football League (EFL).
Launching in January 2020, FIT FANS will see Bristol Rovers and Bristol Rovers Community Trust are coming together to host 12 weeks of free exercise and fitness sessions at The Memorial Stadium in Horfield.
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The plan is to tackle obesity in 10,000 fans nationally, after findings by Sport England revealed that members of the football community on a lower income have a lower rate of participation in physical activity.
EFL are aiming to specifically tackle the issue of inactivity in lower-income areas – more than 61 per cent of the population live within 10 miles of an EFL ground and 40 per cent of these people live within the most deprived population groups.
Sport England are supporting the FIT FANS programme with more than £2.25m of National Lottery funding.
The programme began in Scotland but after great success, was brought to England and Wales, with Nicky Reid, chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League Trust, saying that the program in Scotland had been “life-changing for thousands of men and women, both short term and long term”.
FIT FANS works primarily by directly tackling the issue of participation through free exercise sessions, teaching participants o how to stick to a healthy diet and using behaviour change techniques – this could be anything from getting fans to monitor their own weight regularly, to setting goals and achieving a certain number of steps each day, which they can record on the free pedometer they’re given at the beginning of the program.
“I’m delighted to be running the FIT FANS programme this year,” says Bristol Rovers Community Trust CEO, Adam Tutton.
“I’m incredibly impressed with the course materials and the training that the team have received and I know that our fans will fully enjoy the 12 weeks they will have with us. The response from the fan base has been incredible and we can’t wait to work with other Gasheads.”
Those interested can visit www.efltrust.com/fitfans for more information.
Main photo thanks to Bristol Rovers Community Trust