Mens Health/Fans in Training

FFIT group pose for a photo outside the Ayresome Gates

The Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme is designed by the Scottish Football League Trust and targets men aged between 35 and 65 with a waist size +38inches and BMI over 27. In the first year of delivery the programme has engaged over 80 men resulting in a combined weight loss of over 50stone.

The aim of the course is for participants to lose between 5-10% of their body weight and lower their blood pressure. It gives the football fans a chance to get a behind the scenes look at their favourite football club through stadium tours and visits to the training ground.

Each week, the course, which is based at the stadium, covers a number of different health related topics including thinking about alcohol consumption, food labelling, keeping food diaries and making better food choices. The participants record their progress throughout the programme in their workbooks. The sessions also have guest speakers which have included Head Chef of the football club (among others). In addition to the classroom based activities the participants also take part in weekly exercise sessions which are held in the concourse of the stadium or out in the stands. These include walking football, tennis, circuit training, boxercise and jogging.

One of the ways participants have been encouraged to continue their exercise is through a Walking Football session at our Herlingshaw Centre. Each Sunday people who have completed the course meet up and play the new easily accessible version of the game.

On the completion of the programme each of the successful participants is rewarded with a free Middlesbrough F.C football shirt and certificate. They are also guided into exercise and physical activity sessions in the local area so they can continue the good work that they have started.

For more information on the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme please contact paul.south@mfcfoundation.co.uk