According to data from Public Health England, Blackpool has some of the highest premature mortality rates (death under age 75) in England for coronary heart disease, with 64% of adults in Blackpool classed as overweight or obese and more than half classed as physically inactive. The work of Blackpool FC Community Trust (BFCCT), who deliver a range of activities for all abilities and genders, is therefore significant and of great importance to the general wellbeing of the community.
However, in line with national physical activity trends, male participants significantly outnumber female, something that has been highlighted in recent times through the enormously successful ‘This Girl Can’ campaign by Sport England. It is hugely positive therefore that BFCCT have been successful with a grant of £10,000 from Subway and Heart Research UK to deliver a range of activities that will support physical and mental health and wellbeing, all aimed at engaging female adults.
Despite being impacted by lockdown and having to rotate between outdoors and online delivery, the activities kicked off in September and have been very popular. Emma is one of 20 different attendees so far and commented that “the live activity workouts on zoom with Louise are great and have really helped.” And as the videos are recorded, people have been able to repeat the exercise, like Helen, who explained that she “enjoyed last weeks class with Louise and did it again yesterday!” As the restrictions are relaxed, more new activity is planned for the future with chair-based activities aimed at those with reduced mobility, as well as a new Team Talk programme aimed at female football fans.
Jason White, Head of Community Programmes at Blackpool FC Community Trust, expanded upon this by adding “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to support more people in the community, particularly during these tough times, while at the same time raising awareness around the importance of a healthy heart and lifestyle.”
Helen Flaherty – Head of Health Promotion and Education at Heart Research UK gave some further context by adding “At Heart Research UK, we are delighted to work with Blackpool FC Community Trust on a project aimed at inspiring women to get involved with physical activity and improve their heart health. For many people, COVID-19 has resulted in fewer opportunities for physical activity and community engagement. Therefore, it is fantastic to see how this community project will help people to focus on improving their health and wellbeing at such a challenging time.”
All of these activities are free to attend and anyone who would like to take part should contact [email protected] or telephone 07597 786098 and ask to speak with Nathan Davies.