Scheduling Active Fans sessions

27 April 2020

Scheduling Active Fans sessions

Active Fans partners advise clubs and foundations that want to implement this programme, to be really diligent regarding the scheduling of sessions in order to prevent issues from arising.

The recommendation from the partners is also to hold 90 minute sessions, as this is deemed to be the right amount of time to incorporate the necessary activities and rests. Staff members of the Active Fans partners have indicated that people are less available during holidays, and that sessions be scheduled around these. They also recommend planning of 12-13 consecutive weeks of sessions with no breaks in between.

Most clubs delivered one weekly session to ensure that measurable improvements could be made and participants remain engaged with their objectives. Ideally, the sessions should be scheduled in a way that ensures the entire group participates, although this can be challenging.

Participant age criteria

The Active Fans programme focuses on engaging football fans aged at least 35 years with a close connection to their football club, are obese or at a high risk of becoming obese, and have a minimum BMI rating of 27. The objectives of the programme are to attract people who would like to get involved again in physical activity and interested in improving their physical and mental health as well as their nutritional lifestyle. To make the participants achieve this is, it is important to make them aware of the benefits of physical activity and the importance of a balanced diet.


Based on their own experiences, programme partners recommend preparation of equipment based on the content of the scheduled sessions. All partners offered water bottles and healthy nutritional options during and after the sessions. Including the food into the sessions is really important for the participants, because it gives them that extra push they need to start changing their eating behaviours. These minor details may seem like a small stepping stones but they can become weekly habits.

The sport equipment that participants wear should enable them move freely so they can perform activities to the best of their abilities. Most of the project partners offered club branded sport outfits, as mementos for participants, helping foster cohesion within the group. This means that the entire group would wear the same sportswear from the club, which has been proven to create a feeling of unity within the group.

Additionally you will require pedometers, height measures, waist tape measures (2x), medical grade weight measuring scales, a Blood Pressure Monitor (with a large cuff), and an A1 footplate mat (Eatwell Plate).

Health considerations

Some participants have not exercised in a long time, and should be treated accordingly. This underscores the importance of participants filling in Pre Activity Readiness Questionnaires (PARQs) before they start the sessions. Sessions should be based on the capabilities of the whole group and not just the fittest people as it is important to reduce the drop-out rate, reduce the risk of a heart attack or injuries. The most unfit people should be encouraged to do things at their own pace.