The Charlton community trust has set up a very interesting programme that’s been running for a while now: The fit fans programme, it takes people between the ages of 35-60 and places them in a 12-13 week programme where they take part in different exercise regiments to help improve their body. I spoke with programme co-ordinator Matt on what the success stories were, how important having a football club like Charlton is supporting this programme and more writes Emmanuel Ladapo.
How important is Charlton to this programme? Does having a football club such as Charlton fund the programme help more people get involved with the course due to the profile of the club?
“Having this programme accessible to the community, especially in cost of living, accessibility, helps knowing that the club promotes eating healthily, they bring ease of access that the club brings especially again with costs of living. The power of the badge at the club has a great influence in the power of the badge, you know you’re going to get actual quality service from the programme,”
I was also interested to know about the fit fans programme helps improves people’s mental health as well as physical health:
He said: “Yes, definitely, living unhealthily can lead to mental health problems, exercise makes you feel great, you accomplished something, so it massively helps, you’re bringing people together from different walk of life, they form relationships that they wouldn’t necessarily have without this programme and they find things in common, great impact on mental health.”
On the affect of the fif fans programme on
How is it socially with the people participating in the programme, how do they interact with each other?
“We set group challenges, through WhatsApp, there’s always that support group in the group chat, people in the programme meet up with each other outside of the programme, they go to the gym with each other, give each other moral support so they know they’re not alone
“It’s definitely a social group and we encourage it, we want them to talk, it’s good to see it, we’re able to set goals,”
Ok, so you would say that the programme helps people interact with each other?
“Yes, people come from all walks of life, they’re all aiming for one thing, bringing them together it’s great to see, it’s not just a teacher parent setting it’s very relaxing, very comfortable, we work to maintain a high energy level in the group
“We see so many friendships and relationships form, it’s great to see.”
What are the best success stories?
“He had a guy looking to lose weight, build up self confidence, initially was intimidated to go to the gym, he joined our group and got comfortable with over people as we were all achieving the same goal
“He lost over 10 kilos in 12-13 weeks, that weight loss gives him a new lease of life, he now takes part in other activities, takes part in the gym, he feels comfortable now, having other people around him that gave him confidence as well
“He regularly walks everyday for at least an hour, That’s the outcome that people can attain during the course, we give them tips and tools on how to achieve these long terms, he’s lost another stone in weight since we last talked to him. “
What inspired you to get involved in the fit fans programme?
“I do marathons, running, I live healthily, seeing someone struggling who wants to attain better health, wants challenges for themselves but they don‘t know how to get there and it takes a while for them.”
“Helping them achieve their goal, it creates a sense of self-worth, it’s great to hear back from them saying if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be in a better place and that’s to a selective list of all of us (coaches) together, it’s a great sense of feeling to help others attain goals perhaps they can’t by themselves.”