EFL and Premier League Clubs to unite for #NCSMatchDay

EFL and Premier League Clubs will unite to show their support and celebrate the positive impact of 15-17 year olds that have taken part in NCS (National Citizen Service) through #NCSMatchDay.

#NCSMatchDay  is a national campaign ran by EFL Trust and this year will enter it’s fourth year.

The campaign is proving to be a huge success, reaching millions of people every year. Over 300 footballers such as Burnley FC’s Sam Vokes and Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing have helped celebrate NCS and honor the young people who have given back to their local community.

Over the next few weekends, Clubs such as Leeds United, Burnley FC and Stoke City will showcase NCS takeover matches, which will involve first team players warming up in NCS branded t-shirts and meeting NCS graduates.

Each EFL Club has a dedicated NCS Ambassador from their first team who champions NCS programmes in their local community. This includes Middlesbrough FC defender George Friend who was voted PFA Player in the Community  in 2016, highlighting his significant work around the Teeside community and his support for NCS.

Talking about the NCS Programme, George said:

“I’ve been a supporter of MFC Foundation’s NCS project for a number of years now, and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact it has had on the teenagers involved.

I think NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of activities and challenges whilst building new friendships and benefiting the local community.”

Dominik Stingas Paczko, Community Operations manager at EFL Trust said:

“NCS Match Day is a now key date in the football calendar.

“It’s a great opportunity to engage with different audiences and use the power of football to raise the awareness of NCS in local communities. The support we get from EFL and Premier League Clubs as well as the professional footballers is amazing.”

EFL Trust work with over 50 EFL and Premier League Clubs that deliver NCS and have already given the life changing opportunity to over 50,000 teenagers.

NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life. Supporting young people’s transition to adulthood, the programme develops their strength of character, giving a sense of purpose, optimism and belonging.

To find out more about NCS, visit: https://www.efltrust.com/ncs/

EFL Trust NCS Programme Wins National Award

The EFL Trust have received national recognition for the Autumn NCS programme which gave over 300 teenagers the opportunity to push their limits and develop new skills with their local football club. 

NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.

The Autumn Pilot Programme was a new initiative involving 18 EFL and Premier League Clubs including Chelsea FC, West Ham United and Lincoln City, delivering NCS for the first time during Autumn 2018.

EFL Trust with their national award

The Trust’s Autumn programme was one of only two projects to receive a certificate of recognition at the NCS Trust Annual Conference in London.

Not only did the clubs deliver significant numbers but the quality of programmes delivered by the football clubs was highlighted by NCS Trust.

Dominik Stingas Pazcko, Communities Operations Manager, said:

“It’s fantastic that the Clubs have been recognised by NCS Trust for their hard work.

“We are delighted about the success of our Autumn Pilot. We know that football clubs are at the heart of the community and have the ability to reach young people, where others may struggle. This is another great example of how football clubs are leading the way in delivering programmes that improve the lives of people in their communities.”

Having delivered NCS since the pilots in 2011, EFL Trust have had over 50,000 young people complete NCS, working with over 30 local delivery partners to engage with over 10,000 young people each year.

To find out more about NCS visit: https://www.efltrust.com/ncs/

Brentford FC announce Community Takeover Match

Brentford’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Blackburn Rovers has been dedicated to the local community and young people will play a special role. The Club’s first ever Community Takeover Match will take place next Saturday, 2 February, and children from Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s community projects will have the exciting opportunity to take part in important matchday roles next week. From the press box to the football pitch, ten children – from across eight of the Trust’s community projects – will go behind the scenes and join a number of matchday staff to learn the ropes. 

Children with disabilities, a young carer, and a budding female footballer are just some of the participants who will take on the roles – including shadowing Head Coach Thomas Frank. And the takeover won’t just focus on Thomas Frank’s pre-match tactics, children will also join staff in the ticket office, Club Shop and shadowing Brentford’s legendary matchday announcer Peter Gilham.

Mia, 13, benefits from the Trust’s Young Carers project, which provides much-needed respite to young people across the boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow. She will have the chance to work at the match and will be shadowing the Club’s matchday photography team, pitchside taking pictures that will appear on brentfordfc.com.

Speaking about the match, she said: “I really enjoy photography – it has allowed me to express myself and I’m honoured to be able to photograph a team that I have supported since I was little. It was only through the Trust’s Young Carers Project I have been able to develop my passion for photography: the project has helped build my confidence and helped me share experiences with other young carers in the same situation as me.” 

The match is part of Brentford FC’s ongoing commitment to community initiatives. For every ticket bought at the game, £1 will be donated to Brentford FC Community Sports Trust – helping people like Mia.

Cliff Crown, Brentford FC Chairman, said: “This is a fantastic idea and I am delighted we have been able to work with the Trust to create such a memorable event. It will be a great sight to see young people that engage with Brentford FC via our Trust heavily involved on matchday and getting a view behind the scenes. I am sure our fans will give them all the support they need on the day as well.

“The involvement with our local community is one of our key values. Events like this, as well as the day-to-day involvement of players and staff, are a great way to showcase the work done by the Trust. It is even better that it can happen on a day when we are donating £1 for all tickets sold to the Trust. I hope it is a day where money and awareness are raised.”

“There was never anything like this when I was growing up so this course is great for young people in Wigan”

Wigan Athletic duo Callum McManaman and Josh Windass delivered a special training session to Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Football and Education students on Monday afternoon.

The pair helped to develop and improve the skills and techniques of students – who have been studying with the Trust since September 2018 – through a number of different activities.

The one-year course is aimed at youngsters aged 16-18 years old and includes three days of education studying with the Trust, work placements delivering PE in primary schools across Wigan and the opportunity to represent Latics in the EFL Community & Education Football Alliance (CEFA).

As part of the course, learners play fixtures at Christopher Park, home of Latics’ academy teams, work towards an FA Level 1 certificate in football coaching and enjoy volunteering opportunities.

Callum, the Community Trust’s sponsored player for the 2018/19 season, said: “There was never anything like this around when I was growing up so for the club to be able to offer this course through the Community Trust is great for the young people of Wigan.

He added: “It was a good session to be fair and the lads really seemed to take on board what was being said to them, so hopefully they’ll take some tips away from it and become better coaches.”

Liam Sweeney, Football and Education student, said: “It’s a very enjoyable course because I’ve always wanted to work in football and the programme is just really fun. I’m more knowledgeable now, have gained new experiences and picked up key skills that have made me a better person.”

To apply or for more information about the next programme starting September 2019, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Education Officer Liam Sealey on 01942 318090 or email l.sealey@wiganathletic.com.

Charlton Athletic Community Trust re-launch ‘Street Violence Ruins Lives’ campaign

• London’s Deputy Mayor and representatives from Royal Greenwich, Bexley, Peabody Trust and the Metropolitan Police all attended
• Players and officials wore Street Violence Ruins Lives t-shirts to support the campaign

London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden spoke as Charlton Athletic Community Trust re-launched its Street Violence Ruins Lives (SVRL) campaign at Charlton Athletic’s fixture against Accrington Stanley on Saturday 19 January.

Representatives from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Bexley, Peabody Trust, the Metropolitan Police and Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, attended a reception chaired by Sally and Jamie Knox.

SVRL was launched in 2008 following the tragic death of Rob Knox, whose father Colin was also in attendance at Saturday’s event.

Charlton and Accrington Stanley’s entire first-team squads joined the day’s officials in wearing SVRL t-shirts out of the tunnel.

The t-shirts featured the SVRL logo on the front and the London Needs You Alive logo on the back, an initiative from the Mayor of London’s Office which Sophie was interviewed about pitchside.

CACT mentors and Young Greenwich youth workers spoke to fans about the campaign by mobile units outside the West Stand, handing out copies of CACT’s new SVRL strategy and discussing the programmes CACT delivers to reduce street violence.

Young Greenwich partner Champions 4 Change set up a boxing ring in the car park for young people, while fellow partner B Young Stars promoted its youth education programmes.
Young people were able to take advantage of the club’s Kids for a Quid ticket offer to watch Charlton win 1-0.

Sally Knox said:
“Soon after Rob’s death, CACT got in contact with us and said they wanted to do something about the violence that was erupting in 2008. So we got together and started working together. I set up the Rob Knox Foundation, and we’ve worked together now for nearly 11 years.

“With the amount of funding they’ve now got, I’m so excited for the future”.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Leader, was among the reception’s other speakers, and also signed the pledge card, as did the London Borough of Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Philip Read.

Jason Morgan MBE and Roger Godsiff MP, Chair of Trustees, signed the pledge card on behalf of CACT.

Charlie Macdonald, CACT’s Director of Youth & Inclusion, said:
“The programmes that we run already reach out to young people every day, every week.

“We’ve decided that we must make every opportunity count when we’re interacting… We want to spread this message and make sure that people understand the options that are available to them.”

Charlton midfielder Joe Aribo and Club Secretary Chris Parkes signed the pledge card. Other Charlton players have also got behind the campaign, with midfielder Mark Marshall leading a seminar for young people and sharing his views about the importance of positive role models.

U23s player Junior Quitirna reflected on his own experiences of street violence.

He said:

“It was important to me to be involved in this campaign. I related to some of the boys I was speaking to at the seminar and I can see some of me in them. We fought the same war, trying to get away from the street violence.”

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said:

“The council is deeply concerned about knife crime. The campaign is one of the many partnerships we are supporting to tackle the spread of violence.

“The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Peabody and CACT have secured £150,000 funding over three years from the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund.

“We are also each contributing £30,000 to mentor young people in Woolwich Common and Thamesmead Moorings who are at risk of exclusion from school or involvement in criminal activity.”

Tranmere Rovers Over-40s football participant loses an impressive four stone in eight years

This week is National Obesity Awareness Week and at Tranmere Rovers in the Community, one of their regular Over-40s Football players has opened up about how the exercise has transformed his life.

Steve has been coming to the free Over-40s sessions at Prenton Park twice a week for the past eight years and has lost an impressive four stone in the process.

Speaking about his decision to make a change, he said:

“I knew I needed to do something to help myself when I got to my late forties. My doctor said I was heading towards a diabetes diagnosis if I carried on with my diet and exercise habits, so something had to change.

“I have never liked being in a gym environment, lifting weights or running on a treadmill for hours on my own. It’s just so boring and hard to keep up with so I thought I’d try a team sport – even though I was never really much good at them when I was in school.

“The first time I came to this group, I couldn’t believe that I was surrounded by men who were the same age and even older than me that could run around constantly and play a proper game together. I was absolutely knackered trying to keep up with them!

“I’ve been coming here for nearly eight years now and the difference in what I can do is amazing. It’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

“I was 47 when I first came and weighed around 19 ½ stone, I’m 55 now and just over 16 stone so it shows it’s never too late to change something.”

According to a recent study conducted by University College London, 48% of Britons will be obese by 2045 if current trends are not halted. Obesity can lead to a devastating range of serious health conditions including diabetes and heart disease, as well as increasing the potential of stroke and some types of cancer.

Steve claims that it only takes one small change to ‘get the ball rolling’. He says:

“Within a few months of coming I lost a stone in weight, and then once that happened the rest of the weight just seemed to drop off me a lot quicker. Once I noticed that I was losing weight just by getting more exercise it inspired me to adapt my eating habits and have a total lifestyle change really. I stopped eating the unhealthy things like bags of chips and takeaways – not a strict diet but I just became more aware of what I was putting in my body.

“The game is no different to when you play as a kid. I used to be rubbish at football, even now I play in defence because I’m so big and just tend to get in people’s way.  I didn’t play for about twenty years because I’ve always been not very good but now that I’ve come here that all seems irrelevant.

“Age doesn’t matter. When you’re a kid – you enjoy it. When you’re an adult – you enjoy it. Nothing changes even as time progresses.  

“Everyone here is so friendly, there’s no ego or aggression and everyone just gets on with it.”

If you are interested in getting fit and healthy this New Year – there are a whole host of fun, community based activities available for people of all ages at Tranmere Rovers in the Community.

For further details about any of the sessions on offer you can contact the TRIC Office on 608 2354, visit tranmererovers.co.uk/community or email community@tranmererovers.co.uk for more information.

Degree Apprenticeships Benefit the Employer and the Employees

How Degree Apprenticeships benefit the Employer and the Employee:  Chris and Oxford United Community Trust’s Story

School and mainstream academic learning can be a narrow pathway at a very specific time, early in your life. If pure academic learning is not for you or you’re not ready to learn in your formative years, then you often miss out on the chance of qualifications that could at some point affect your career progression.   A degree apprenticeship is a new way for someone in work to improve their knowledge and qualifications, benefiting both the individual and the business they work for.

Chris Lowes, Head of Operations at Oxford United Community Trust, is one person in our network that is currently benefiting from a degree apprenticeship.

“I’m not really academic.  I struggled to learn at school and ended up leaving with no GCSE’s.  Having Dyslexia doesn’t help. I wouldn’t say it’s the root cause of everything but it meant I struggled with written work. After school I went straight into part time work with the football club as a coach on minimum wage. Over the years I’ve worked my way up through various positions at the Trust.”

Chris was recently appointed Head of Operations, atop job at Oxford Community Trust.  Despite his success at Oxford, Chris has always been concerned about his lack of formal qualifications.

Chris continues, “I always regretted not having more qualifications and as my career developed I regretted it even more because I know that I have the knowledge and potential to succeed.  I thought about doing night school, or day release many times, but the cost was too much and the time it takes out of your life put me off when trying to balance a full time job. However, a degree apprenticeship doesn’t have those constraints, so it’s an opportunity that I jumped at.”

Degree apprenticeships have less effect on a student’s life, as they combine working with studying part-time at a university. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer. This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of the employer.  More importantly a degree apprenticeship also removes the cost barrier, with only 5% contribution towards costs for non-levy paying organisations and no cost for levy paying organisations.

The course Chris is studying is the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship with the Open University. This degree provides apprentices with higher level management skills, core leadership competencies and behaviours. Thanks to his degree apprenticeship, Chris is now getting the opportunity to get the qualification he deserves and Oxford United Community Trust are benefiting from his wider skills, knowledge and expertise.

“I’ve always learned by doing. I’ve got basic understanding of what  I’m doing and why I’m doing it. However, the degree apprenticeship is broadening and deepening my knowledge and understanding.  The degree allowed me to understand the theory and learning at the same time you are doing the job is a great way to learn.”

 

National Obesity Awareness Week: PNE Walking Football participant loses 18 kilos in under two years

As part of National Obesity Awareness Week, Walking Football with PNE participant Andy Laurie revealed how getting involved in the sport has helped him drop his weight from 108 kilos to 90 kilos.

Andy has been attending Walking Football sessions since February 2017 and has revealed how beneficial it has been to him and how it has contributed to him losing 18 kilos in under two years.

He said: “I started walking football in February 2017 and I play two or three times a week. I’ve used it not only as playing the game but as weight loss. I thoroughly enjoy it and have continued to play to this day ever since.

“I’m currently 90 kilos so to lose 18 kilos in just under two years is quite good. I’m feeling a lot healthier. I can walk up and down stairs now without getting out of breath and I really enjoy it.”

Andy uses his belt as an indication of the amount of weight he has lost and drills new holes into it as he continues to shed the pounds through regular exercise.

As well as the physical side of losing weight, it also requires a lot of mental strength and Andy believes that being part of group who support each other through the good times and the bad times is key.

“It’s very much mental,” said Andy. “What we have here in the group is very much two parts to the football. One is the actual football and the other is the banter and camaraderie we have as a group. We all support one another.

“If someone is feeling a bit down, doesn’t want to turn up, we still make them turn up and they still enjoy it. Even when some of us get injured, they’re still turning up on a Friday or Wednesday or Monday for a coffee.

“So that’s really good for what the Community Trust here and in other places have done to get us as a group. Because we all support one another, we turn up more often, we are doing more physical exercise and it’s better all round.

“What would be nice to know but it’s impossible to know would be what as a group, what our weight total was two years ago and what it is today. Between the whole group we would have lost a lot of weight because everyone has lost weight.”

Andy’s weight loss journey had originally begun in the summer of the pervious year when he decided that it was time for him to change his lifestyle and begin to try and shed the pounds.

“My weight loss started in July 2016. I was 108 kilos and I thought this is getting stupid, too fat whatever so I started cycling, started walking all that sort of stuff,” continued Andy.

“What I did when I started walking was, I did a distance and I was walking for an hour and 15 minutes. Each day I tried to cut that time down by a minute so slowly you get faster and faster and I was doing whatever mileage it was in an hour and that’s when I knew I was up to proper speed.”

The Preston North End fan has not just changed the amount of physical activity he undertakes and while he hasn’t changed his diet, he has reduced his alcohol consumption.

Andy admitted: “I’ve not actually changed what I eat, I still like the odd treat, however what I have done is cut down the amount of alcohol I drink at home.

“I still go to the pub twice a week and have a beer and occasionally I’ll have a drink at home but not very often so really diet hasn’t changed that much its purely down to exercise.”

North End host weekly Walking Football sessions on a Tuesday from 6pm until 7pm and on a Friday from 11am until 1pm at the Preston North End Community Training Centre for men and women over the age of 50, regardless of ability.

The first steps in losing weight can be the toughest, but Andy believes that the Walking Football sessions provide the perfect opportunity for people to lose weight and he is keen to encourage more to do so and get involved.

He added: “Get into a group which is fun to be with. If exercise is fun, then you’re going to do it. Start off slowly, don’t overdo it and just work up.

“We get new members because they are usually overweight as I was, you come on, you play for two minutes and you’re falling around on the floor, you can’t get up, you can’t get your breath but slowly you get through that and then you don’t ache now after games.

“I thoroughly enjoy it. They are a great bunch. We have the odd fracas where someone kicks someone, and all that kind of stuff. We have a go at the referees here because of their biased refereeing usually against my team but we all have a good laugh and that’s what life is about at the end of the day.

“So, I would say to anyone, start it gently and enjoy it but just carry one. Persevere and just carry on doing it.”

Blackpool FC Community Trust Job Vacancies

Blackpool FC Community Trust are recruiting in the following positions…

 

Job Vacancy: Education Officer

Job Description – Education Officer

Due to the expansion of our Education and Employability programmes, Blackpool FC Community Trust are looking for a new member of staff to join our vibrant and forward-thinking organisation, which helps develop a range of opportunities for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to improve their lifestyles, education and health.

The Community Trust is an independent registered charity that is looking to add another member of staff to the very successful Education and Employability delivery team.

We are looking for an Education Officer who will deliver a high quality BTEC Sport programme and football coaching sessions as part of the Football Academy strand, aiming to inspire and motivate students, in accordance with the guidance and outcomes of the BTEC Sport Curriculum and funding providers expectations.

Please send your C.V and a covering letter to explain why you are suitable for this role to Selina Hayes by either of the following methods:

E-mail: jobs@bfcct.co.uk

Post: Selina Hayes, Head of Education, Blackpool FC Community Trust, Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool, FY1 6JJ

Applications must be submitted no later than 5pm on Thursday 31st January 2019.

Interviews will take place week commencing 4th February 2019.

 

 

 

Job Vacancy: Physical Education Officer

Job Description – Physical Education Officer

Due to the expansion of our Premier League Primary Stars programme, Blackpool FC Community Trust are looking for a new member of staff to join our vibrant and forward thinking organisation, which helps develop a range of opportunities for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to improve their lifestyles, education and health.

The Community Trust is an independent registered charity that is looking to add another member of staff to the very successful Primary Stars delivery team.

We are looking for a Physical Education Officer who will support and develop local primary school staff in delivering high-quality PE lessons, aiming to inspire and motivate school staff, in accordance with the guidance and outcomes of the PE and Sport Premium funding.  The role will also include enthusing young people to take part in regular physical activity.

Please send your C.V and a covering letter to explain why you are suitable for this role to Chris Debar by either of the following methods:

E-mail: jobs@bfcct.co.uk

Post: Chris Debar, Senior Physical Education Officer, Blackpool FC Community Trust, Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool, FY1 6JJ

Applications must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 8th February 2019.

Successful candidates will be informed of their invitation to interview on Thursday 14thFebruary 2019, with interviews taking place week commencing 25th February 2019. 

 

 

 

Job Vacancy: Pastoral and Learning Mentor

Job Description – Pastoral and Learning Mentor

Due to the expansion of our Education and Employability programmes, Blackpool FC Community Trust are looking for a new member of staff to join our vibrant and forward-thinking organisation, which helps develop a range of opportunities for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to improve their lifestyles, education and health.

The Community Trust is an independent registered charity that is looking to add another member of staff to the very successful Education and Employability delivery team.

We are looking for a Pastoral and Learning Mentor who will provide support to students across our education and employability programmes, aiming to inspire and motivate students academically, emotionally and socially.

Please send your C.V and a covering letter to explain why you are suitable for this role to Selina Hayes by either of the following methods:

E-mail: jobs@bfcct.co.uk

Post: Selina Hayes, Head of Education, Blackpool FC Community Trust, Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool, FY1 6JJ

Applications must be submitted no later than 5pm on Thursday 31st January 2019.

Interviews will take place week commencing 4th February 2019.  

Blackpool FC Community Trust has many projects and are always looking for reliable, good quality Level 1/Level 2 coaches to get involved in coaching on a casual basis.

If you think you have what it takes to join the Blackpool FC Community Trust team, please send your CV, attached to a covering letter to jobs@bfcct.co.uk, and they will contact you if any vacancies become available.

NHS Chief hails scheme to help football fans slim down

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has backed a scheme that lets overweight football fans train at their club’s stadium, encouraging them to get fit and live a healthier, more active life.

Five of the English Football League (EFL) Trust’s network of community organisations are participating in the Scottish Professional Football League Trust’s licensed Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme where overweight men and women are coached for 12 weeks at their team’s home ground.

The EFL Trust aspires to see the programme spread to more communities in England by establishing new partnerships that can increase the impact of the scheme.

Clubs put on a three-month programme of exercise and sports and also give advice on healthy eating. One programme at Swindon FC saw 30 men lose more than 40 stone in weight.

The scheme was developed and is operated by the Scottish Premier Football League Trust in 2010 north of the border.

One three-month programme at Swindon FC saw 30 men lose more than 40 stone in weight.

Simon Stevens said that rolling out the scheme in England will help cut type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related problems including heart disease and several types of cancer, relieving pressure on the NHS.

And as the NHS prepares to publish a long term plan that will have a renewed focus on prevention, he said commissioners should consider enabling GPs to refer supporters to the scheme as part of the growing move toward ‘social prescribing’.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Obesity is a public health emergency and tackling it needs to be a team effort.

“Football clubs are the centre of communities across England and working with them to encourage fans to get fit is a great idea that can produce real results.

“As the NHS prepares to publish a long term plan that will include a renewed focus on prevention, commissioners should consider whether schemes like this can help patients live fitter, healthier lives – and take pressure off on NHS services.”

In England the FFIT is currently available at Swindon Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Blackpool, Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic.

Local NHS services also work with Widnes Vikings rugby team, helping children exercise regularly through coaching by the rugby players.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations at EFL Trust said: “The EFL Trust is committed to improving the lives of people within EFL communities across country and Football Fans in Training is proven to be a great way to get people to think about sustainable changes to improve their lives. We are proud of the work in our EFL Clubs in this area so far and hope to do more to address this important challenge going forward.”

The FFIT scheme is the only evidence-based programme of its kind.

Experts at the University of Glasgow, who studied the programme’s Scottish roll-out, said the men lost more than nine times as much weight as those who had not done the programme.

Men who followed FFIT in Scotland saw improvements to their health and wellbeing, with two in five maintaining a weight loss of at least 5% of their original body weight a year later.

The EFL Trust supports, advises and resources the network of community organisations associated with the 72 EFL Clubs.