My role


Premier League plan to make football healthy

Going to football might be about to get a little healthier - unless you're a Spurs fan, of course - thanks to a new initiative backed by the MHF.

A new £1.63m partnership between the Premier League and the New Football Pools — owned by Sportech PLC - will see top flight football clubs kicking off a campaign to tackle men' health. MHF CEO Peter Baker sits on the project's steering group.

Alan WhitePremier League Health will involve 17 of the clubs currently in the Premier League working with Primary Care Trusts and other local health agencies to engage with, it is hoped, over 4,000 men. Many clubs will be placing NHS health trainers within the stadiums themselves, taking referrals from local GPs.

The project will aim to tackle issues as diverse as depression, obesity and general poor physical health, as well as alcohol and substance abuse. It will encourage men to play more sport — it may be possible to train as a football coach, for example.

Generation with few services

MHF chair Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, pictured, who spoke at the launch, said: 'The men this partnership is aimed at are a generation that have very few services specifically designed for them yet face some of the greatest health challenges both now and throughout their lives.

'Using Premier League clubs sends a very clear message to these men that their health and wellbeing matters, that thought has gone into using locations that they will enjoy being in, and that they are valued.'

Launching the project at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground, Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said: 'Only a few years ago football clubs were viewed solely as teams that competed on the pitch every weekend. A modern day Premier League club does far more than that. They now employ hundreds of staff dedicated solely to running an array of community-focused projects that are having an enormous impact. I am sure Premier League Health will go on to do the same.

'Premier League clubs have shown in recent years the diverse range of issues that they can tackle through the extensive work they do in their communities. Many already partner with their local Primary Care Trusts, using the interest that people have in the club to help improve their health. In fact, almost 90,000 people took part in health-specific activities at our clubs last season.'

Page created on February 26th, 2009

Page updated on December 1st, 2009