Make #MomentsForMovement this MHAW 

The Mental Health Foundation have detailed that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Movement: Moving more for your mental health.’ 

Regular physical activity is known to improve mental health, quality of life, and wellbeing. It also helps prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and more.

In 2023, ‘FIT FANS’ was launched in Wales to help fans get fit and improve their wellbeing through their love of football. It is a collaboration between the FAW and the English Football League Trust (EFL Trust), supported by funding from the Welsh Government’s ‘Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales’ programme. 

“FIT FANS” is a free 12-week healthy lifestyle programme for football fans aged between 35 and 65 who are looking to improve their wellbeing, lose weight and lead a more active life. The innovative programme has already helped 1000’s of football fans to achieve long-term health improvements, with sessions being delivered by seven clubs across Wales.  

On FIT FANS, Eleri Williams from the Football Association of Wales said: “At the FAW we believe that our football clubs can have a wider impact in society and the role they can play through the power of the badge. Football clubs have always been the hubs of the community, but what we want to see is our football clubs having positive impacts in other areas, health and wellbeing being one of them.”

Health and Wellbeing Lead at Swansea City AFC, Caroline Gwilym said: “It’s proven to be a really important part of helping people and supporting people, not only with the kind of lifestyle choices around what they eat but increasing their physical activity and also improving their kind of mental health and wellbeing.”

FIT FANS participant Steffani May said: “I had PTSD at the beginning of 2020 and at the time I was a qualified youth worker, and I was working in the youth offending service, and I had to give up my job. So, like most people over the last few years, my mental health and wellbeing has gone really downhill and when I was given the opportunity to do this, it really came at an amazing time, just to take the opportunity and try to get back to close to where I was. Why not make the most of an amazing facility and it’s all about community football and the foundation does amazing work.”

Further information on how to take part can be found here – FIT FANS

For more information on Mental Health Awareness week visit the Mental Health Foundation.

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