Extra Life

Stewart Downing and Ben Gibson pose with a yellow Extra Life poster in the club kit room

Football fans know all about extra time, but Boro supporters will soon be talking Extra Life thanks to a new health initiative. Middlesbrough Football Club has signed up to the ‘healthy settings’ scheme, which works within organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff and service users. As well as targeting Middlesbrough FC and Foundation employees, the scheme will be rolled out to Boro fans across the region, and all visitors to the club’s facilities.

Developed by Public Health at Middlesbrough Council, the initiative works by identifying the specific health needs within a setting; and implementing lasting health improvement and population behaviour change.

In this instance, the findings of Extra Life have been used to shape the objectives of future health projects implemented by MFC Foundation, the official charitable arm of Middlesbrough FC, in their work with Boro fans, as well as encouraging both club and Foundation staff to lead healthier lives.

Michael James, Middlesbrough FC’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “Middlesbrough Football Club is committed to improving the health of people on Teesside, from our own staff to the wider community of Boro fans. We’re delighted to join the Extra Life drive, which provides an invaluable opportunity to tailor our efforts and make significant strides together with our supporters.”

Middlesbrough suffers from poor health outcomes and a high number of people dying early from preventable illnesses. Factors including smoking, poor diet and a lack of physical activity all contribute to this, and the club are keen to target and work to meet these needs.

Helena Bowman, Head of MFC Foundation, said: “MFC Foundation already delivers strong health projects in our community, but Extra Life will enable us to shape what we are doing around the needs of the Boro fans. We believe this project will help us to provide the most meaningful and impactful campaigns, where they are most needed.”
The most recent research suggests an estimated 131 million days are lost to sickness absence each year in the UK, while up to 50% of health and wellbeing is thought to be determined by social factors and the environment in which people live and work. This in turn has an impact on productivity, a major stumbling block for rebuilding the economy locally and nationally. For more information about Extra Life, please visit www.extralifesettings.co.uk

MFC Foundation Join Daughters And Dads Active And Empowered Project

We’re delighted to announce we will be part of the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered project for the next two years.

Women in Sport, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and the University of Newcastle (Australia), is excited to announce that we are the latest to join a growing band supporting this initiative.

We’ll join Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC) and the Stoke City Community Trust for year two of the project, alongside Fulham FC Foundation, who were part of the project’s inaugural pilot year.

In total, six clubs will deliver the programme for the next two years, supported by Sport England’s Families Fund through National Lottery funding.

The Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme has been developed by the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Professor Philip Morgan and his team.

The programme aims to increase physical activity levels, sports skills and social-emotional wellbeing of girls 5-11 years by challenging stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation.

Rachel Horsley, Girls Football Lead Officer here at MFC Foundation, said: The philosophy behind the programme is very much in keeping with many of our own. We reach across the area with many programmes, but this one is just that little bit different. Programmes like Daughters and Dads help everyone come together, not just the dads and their daughters. Some find it easier than others to show their feelings, or to actively support and encourage. This programme helps on so many levels. It helps emotionally and physically and brings an understanding that the two work together – just like dads and their daughters.”

Eleven families took part in the project’s inaugural year, and the programme had a great impact on those that took part.  Initial findings suggest:

  • Father and father-figures on the programme mentioned growing a stronger bond with their daughters and suggested they would increase the amount of family activity they do as a result of taking part.
  • All the girls that took part in the project showed a strong belief that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family.

Women in Sport and the project partners will explore these initial findings in greater depth with a larger sample size to understand any significant impact in year two and three.

Lee Warren, Innovation Manager for the DAD Project, said: We’re delighted to have five new clubs involved in this project for the next two years alongside continuing our partnership with Fulham who have built strong foundations. We’ve already started to see the impact that the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme can have on its participants and the long-term lifestyle changes that it can deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing these clubs support more families in their local communities to get active.”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England said: Following a successful first year of testing the Daughters and Dads programme, we are really pleased that our National Lottery investment can now help to extend its reach into new areas across England.   We know that we need to continue to do more to help girls and less affluent families get active, and one thing that hinders this are gender stereotypes that can cause families to believe that physical activity is less important for girls than boys.  We also know that parents and carers often see their role as helpers and less as role models in encouraging their children to be active. This programme, based on a model from Australia, is addressing these challenges and we look forward to seeing the results of this in the North East, West Midlands and London.”

For more information on the Research and Advice Service and Women in Sport’s work visit www.womeninsport.org.