What is Active Fans?
Active Fans aims to reach people (both men and women) over 35 who would like to get physically active again as well as making lifestyle changes and improving their diets. This programme is being funded by Erasmus+ Sport, coordinated by EFDN and it is delivered in collaboration with nine partners. These project partners are: Fulham FC Foundation, Vitesse Betrokken, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Rangers FC Foundation, Ferencvaros TC, PSV Foundation, Feyenoord Rotterdam, KAA Gent and Valerenga Fotball.
Through this programme, participants get to learn about nutrition as they get more physically active and begin to feel the benefits of weight loss and increased energy. There has been a few clubs and organisations across Europe who have developed methodologies for similar programmes which promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for the mentioned target group. The goal is to develop a user-friendly, cost-effective and innovative methodology that can be used by all interested sport and football clubs in Europe. The Active Fans methodology will be based on the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) methodology and the feedback from the programme partners. The development and optimisation of the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme was undertaken by a research team led by Glasgow University on partnership with the SPFL Trust. We gratefully acknowledge some source material from the Nutrition & Dietetic Department, NHS Forth Valley and Men’s Health Clinic, Camelon, Falkirk. The programme development is described in Gray et al (2013), the results of the programme evaluation are reported in Wyke et al (2015) and Hunt et al (2014).
This project promotes the aims of the HEPA Guidelines and the true European values of sport and proceeds to increase the awareness in regards to the role of sport in promoting health-enhancing physical activities, social inclusion and equal opportunities. Additionally, the Active Fans project also ensures increased participation in sport, physical activity and voluntary activity of a target group that can be considered hard to reach.
The project objectives have been shaped and agreed via an extensive consultation process with all project partners, informed by the specific challenges faced within each of the individual European territories with regard to sport for all and social inclusion. Through this process, people aged 35 and over were consistently identified as the key demographic target group that needs to be addressed in the near future.
Several social policy outcomes have been identified in order to deliver the highest levels of added value and ensure the maximum impact on European policy objectives in sport. These include enhancing the number of physical activities within the target group, promoting the European guidelines on health-enhancing physical activities (HEPA), enhancing the number of social contacts of local participants and promoting this new innovative football/sport methodology to a wide range of stakeholders in countries all around Europe.