How to plan Active Fans sessions
Active Fans is a project that encourages fans to get fit with their favourite clubs. Using football as a motivational tool, the programme stimulates football fans to follow health, nutrition and physical activity guidelines.
These guidelines are important factors in improving the physical and mental health of fan groups from across Europe focusing on male and female fans aged at least 35 years old. Participants choose their own personal objectives, follow sessions delivered by staff members of their clubs and foundations, and are empowered to change their lifestyles in a way that is beneficial to their physical and mental health.
The project life cycle of the Active Fans programme has highlighted the importance of clearly planning where, when and how Active Fans sessions should be scheduled and delivered. Additionally, the creation of a project plan that includes the topics of the sessions, the specific objectives, impact measurement parameters and timelines, is essential.
Venue and environment
The choice for a specific venue for your Active Fans sessions is a very important one, and session organisers take into account that it is best to pick a central location within the community that is accessible to all. Using facilities that are easily recognisable, and easy to find, as well as being an important reference point in the community improves the prospect of attracting participants.
The Active Fans partners use various facilities at their disposal, such as training centres, club stadium and community facilities. It is important that indoor and outdoor facilities are used to avoid the weather acting as a barrier to participating in the sessions. To actualise this, it is important that staff members in charge of the sessions monitor weather reports, and make sure that they have alternative venues booked in case of sudden changes.
In order to manage the budget, it is of course better to book own facilities, if these are made available by the club reducing the cost of planning and delivery. If this is not an option, rigorous planning will be needed to ensure venues are available for the sessions.
The facilities of the venue is another aspect that needs attention, as some basic forms of amenities need to be present. To meet the guidelines of Active Fans sessions, participants need access to changing facilities, toilets, access to refreshments, and an area where they can interact after the session. The social aspect of the Active Fans programme is a crucial part of the delivery, as many of the participants have expressed that the camaraderie is one of the things they like most about the sessions.