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Dale's Fit Fans Initiative Proving A Big Hit!

22 October 2020

A recent initiative launched by the Dale In The Community Sports Trust, thanks to funding from the EFL Trust, is proving to be a big hit with participants.

The brand-new health programme – Fit Fans - has seen around 25 men attending the FREE weekly sessions, which are now in their sixth week. Running once a week for 12 weeks, Fit Fans is aimed at helping participants, aged 35-65 lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle, and change their life for the better with an emphasise that the end goal should be about improving health and fitness.

Every session has a different topic including managing alcohol consumption, understanding food labels and calorie intake to help balance diet plus loads more. But as well as receiving talks on nutrition from Community Trust coaches, attendees take part in 5-a-side games on the new kick pitch at the Crown Oil Arena or go walking.

Dale in the Community Trust Coach and Fit Fans Co-ordinator, Graham Hicks, commented: “We’re delighted with how the sessions are going so far. It’s the first time, we, as a Community Trust, have delivered this programme but the take up has been excellent and the participants are fully on board with what we’re doing. They’ve even set up their own WhatsApp group so they can share ideas and encourage each other, which is brilliant. They’ve really taken ownership of the information we’ve given them and are putting it into practice, both at our sessions and at home or work.

“Firstly, we do a session inside that’s around 45 minutes to an hour long where we talk about various things. So far we’ve covered topics including the food plate, the consumption of alcohol and carbohydrates.

“We then move outside for the second part of the session. We all do a warm up together, before some participants play 5-a-side, while others prefer to get walking, and we’re happy to facilitate what each member of the group wants to do while encouraging them and being there to offer help and advice.”

Mike Royds, 64, who is one of the participants, added: “It’s absolutely brilliant. They’ve got some really good coaches here that really encouraged you without pushing you too hard. They’ve been encouraging us to increase the number of steps we do and to pay more attention to portion size, for example.

“I feel so much fitter and so much better already. The thing that really interested me was about trying to get fit and I’m definitely doing that, so although I’ve lost weight, that’s just an added bonus.

“I walk around the stadium every week with Graham Hicks, between five and six times, and gradually over the weeks since I started, I’ve shortened my lap time and I’ve also been able to introduce jogging in addition to the walking thanks to his encouragement and support. If you had told me in the first week that I would be able to jog the length of Willbutts Lane, then I would never have believed you – I wouldn’t have been able to get past the first gate way!

“I can’t recommend Fit Fans enough.”

Following the programme’s success, Dale are already taking bookings for the next set of sessions, which will start in the New Year, including the introduction of a women’s group, so men and women are being encouraged to sign up for January. Sessions are FREE.

Interested people should contact Keith Hicks. Email keith.hicks@rochdaleafc.co.uk Tel 07958593121.


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