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Case Studies

Some examples of the many innovative projects across the country using sport to deliver health. (We also have some sample leaflets and posters for this year from Greenwich.)

Playing Safe

Playing Safely is a sexual health awareness programme delivered into the academies of professional football clubs to academy scholars aged 16 to 18. It consists of two 90-minute sessions that address the participant’s understanding and include practical sessions on using condoms and a chlamydia screen.
Playing Safely is the only project of its type, has a broad range of partners and a two-year contract with the Premier League.

It has conducted a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the programme including the number of Chlamydia screens conducted. The Greater Manchester pilot was evaluated by the Federation of Stadium Communities.

Sports stadia are a community resource that can help health professionals engage with hard to reach groups. It benefits the club too. New partnerships mean new supporters. As Oldham AFC community trust put it: ‘when seen to be a safe pair of hands, other things will follow’.

It’s a Goal!

It’s a Goal! is an eleven week self-development programme which uses the language of football to boost self-esteem and motivation.

Set-up by the the National Development Director former GP Pete Sayers at Macclesfield Town FC in 2004, it is now running at teams across the country including Manchester United, Stockport County, Plymouth, Stoke and Burnley

The project aims to help young men, preferably between the ages of 16 - 35, although referrals have been accepted for men outside this age limit, who are experiencing, or have experienced, depression, but also includes those who have little confidence, a low opinion of themselves and who have poor communication and social skills It is spreading by means of a social franchise. By buying a franchise licence It’s a Goal! franchisees can run their own local programmes with training and support from our team.

Usually Primary Care Trusts buy the franchise licence and provide staff to run the programme, though there is nothing to prevent a third sector or private sector organisation from taking on a local franchise.

Accrington Stanley chlamydia checks

Free confidential chlmaydia checks were offered to supporters at an Accrington Stanley game (and in a local pub afterwards).

The League Two side’s youth academy was also involved with the project, learning about the consequences of unprotected sex.

Outreach worker Cory Jordan told the BBC: ‘Working with the football club has had a tremendous effect so far because the audience it attracts are young men who may not access services as much as females.’

Fit Fans

Launched in March 2009 by NHS Hull, Fit Fans is a free weight management service that equips people with the knowledge to lose weight and keep it off, without dramatic changes.

It is primarily for men aged 40 to 65 and offers a structured 12-week programme which is sports-related and professionally delivered by experts linked with two of the big sports clubs in the town, giving participants the chance to get the same fitness expertise as their sporting heroes.

The Fit Fans service was commissioned in conjunction with a new Single Point of Access (SPoA), which offers a convenient and easy way to access information about healthy eating, exercise and losing weight, as well as a range of other weight management services provided by NHS Hull to suit the client’s needs and lifestyle.

Using football in Newcastle

This project use the popularity of Newcastle United FC to engage men who are most likely to have health problems due to lack of exercise, poor diet and smoking.

The programme will follow the idea of a football ‘season’ with sessions planned at a variety of times - day, evening and weekends - to maximise attendance. Focus groups will test assumptions about the key drivers which will incentivise this group of men. The project will then include staged incentives to address diet, smoking and possibly alcohol. Incentives include free match tickets and visits to the ground. An end of programme ‘friendly’ game between the two groups involved has proved popular inclusion. A Match Day MOT is to be offered and additional sessions on cooking, healthy diet and stopping smoking.

Sperm donation takes balls

Sports players and fans are being targeted in the National Gamete Donation Trust’s campaign to recruit sperm donors. The number of current donors is relatively small - just 384 - and there are waiting lists in some regions for donor sperm. The changed law which removes the donor’s right to anonymity is thought to deter some. It is hoped the campaign’s sports theme will encourage more men to come forward

Leaflets and posters were sent to sports clubs and venues in the pilot area of Greater Manchester posing questions such as: “Sperm donation - have you got the balls?”; “Strong swimmers wanted” and “Whatever your shape and size, couples need your help”.

Blackburn Rovers organise their defence

Blackburn Rovers fans had health check-ups ahead of the game against Everton in April. Six marquees were set up urging supporters to 'organise their defence' against cancer, men’s health problems, including high cholesterol, and emotional wellbeing issues.

World Heart Federation and European Healthy Stadia Network

A new collaboration between the World Heart Federation and the European Healthy Stadia Network focused around World Heart Day this year (26th September 2010) aims to increase the number of sports stadia involved in promoting healthy lifestyles and by doing so, help reduce incidence of heart disease and stroke amongst fans, stadia staff and local communities.

Page created on April 1st, 2010

Page updated on June 7th, 2010