Stenhousemuir supporters are enjoying a FFIT and healthy 2015 – thanks to the roll-out of a healthy lifestyle and training programme led by The SPFL Trust and now backed by famous faces Archie MacPherson and Alan Rough.
The Football Fans in Training programme* (FFIT) – which helps supporters feel better and live a healthier lifestyle by losing weight, taking more exercise and improving their diet – ran at 16 clubs last year and is now being delivered at an additional 10, including the Ochilview Park side.
The initiative, funded by the Scottish Government, is free for participants and is now running for the fourth consecutive season at Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs. Those taking part in the 12-week programme can enjoy weekly training sessions at the home stadiums of the clubs they support, enjoyable unique behind-the-scenes access. Since the project began, participants have collectively lost an incredible 7.5 tonnes in weight.
The latest phase of FFIT, which will reach 1,200 people including an estimated 25 at Stenhousemuir was launched by legendary Scottish football commentator Archie MacPherson – the voice of a radio campaign to help attract participants – as well as former Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough.
Archie MacPherson said: “Football Fans In Training is delivering exactly what football has always had the power to do – a strong link between club and community, for the betterment of the supporters – and it’s great to see Stenhousemuir involved in this.
“I’m proud to lend my voice to this superb programme which has already achieved amazing results, and I’m just as thrilled it has now been extended to run at 26 SPFL clubs across the country. I wish all Stenhousemuir participants every success with FFIT and look forward to hearing of many more successes in the future.”
Jamie Kirk, Community Development Director, Stenhousemuir Football Club said: “Through our Warriors in the Community programme we aim to have a positive impact on every household in Stenhousemuir and the surrounding areas. Becoming involved in FFIT has been fantastic and it has been a pleasure to see so many supporters of the club having the chance to engage with us behind the scenes during the week and then chatting about their progress on a matchday. FFIT has also been effective in encouraging participants from the local area, with no previous affiliation, to connect with the club which is a pleasing by-product.
“Our FFIT programme is now going into week 6 and the participants have lost a combined weight of 12kg between them which is nearly 2 stone in 5 weeks. We plan to get all the FFIT participants on the pitch at half time at the last home game of the season to take part in a 10 second challenge.”
Clubs currently offering FFIT are Aberdeen, Albion Rovers, Annan Athletic, Brechin City, Celtic, Cowdenbeath, Dundee, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, East Fife, Falkirk, Hamilton Accies, Hearts, Hibernian, Inverness CT, Kilmarnock, Montrose, Morton, Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Queen’s Park, Rangers, Ross County, St Johnstone, St Mirren and Stenhousemuir.
Details about FFIT and how to sign up to your local club’s programme can be found on the new SPFL Trust website http://spfltrust.org.uk/
Billy Singh, General Manager of the SPFL Trust which worked in partnership with clubs to encourage their involvement in the programme, said: “FFIT has gone from strength to strength since it kicked off and it is great that more clubs are getting involved. These new participants could put total weight loss since the initiative began to more than 10 tonnes! We have had so much positive feedback as the results have been truly life-changing, while the clubs themselves and their coaches deserve a lot of credit for getting on board to help promote a healthier lifestyle among their supporters.
“The initiative continues to grow in size, helping more and more fans lose weight and become more active each year. It is inspiring to see the journey of these supporters and we are honoured to be part of it.”
Neil Doncaster, SPFL Chief Executive, said: “Football Fans In Training is making a powerful and positive impact on supporters of clubs throughout Scotland and all 26 clubs now offering the programme can be very proud of the difference they are making.”