The EFL Trust’s FIT FANS programme has helped over 1,700 fans to live a healthier lifestyle and lose over 12,931kg – an average of 7.2kg per person. Funded by £2.25m from the National Lottery, the FIT FANS programme was launched in January 2020 supporting people across England in localities with the high rates of adult obesity and type 2 diabetes. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, 1,796 people have taken part in FIT FANS so far – 1,196 males and 600 females.
The EFL Trust is the charitable arm of the EFL. It was established in 2008 to oversee the work of EFL’s club community organisations (CCOs), such as Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. It is responsible for distributing core funding from the Premier League and The PFA to each CCO and highlights community work done by clubs across the country.
The average weight loss of a participants at the end of the 13 week programme is an impressive 6.2kg. Furthermore due to the sustainable lifestyle habits that emerge, after 12 months the average weight loss is 7.2kg. The 12 month average waistline measurement loss is an equally impressive 12.1cm, with a reduction in BMI of 2.3. Therefore not only have participants sustained their initial weight loss they are leading a more healthy, balanced lifestyle in the long term.
In addition to the benefits above, a significant reduction in blood pressure and sedentary time has been recorded and an increase in activity and wellbeing measures has been noted.
The FIT FANS programme helps participants to achieve long term sustainable changes by:
- Improving their eating habits
- Helping them achieve at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity activity most days
- Regular self-monitoring of weight and pedometer step counts
FIT FANS was originally developed in Scotland by Glasgow University and SPFL Trust as Football Fans in Training. The programme attracts adults aged 35-65 who are overweight and is delivered by coaching staff at their local football club charity, such as Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. It uses tried-and-tested behaviour change techniques, peer support and creates long term social bonds.