Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation have just completed another Fit Fans programme and were joined for the final session by first-team players Edon Pruti and Tom Crawford.
Our latest Fit Fans programme was designed for women only and has proven to be a huge success since recruitment began back in April. The Foundation had an excellent response, which resulted in them having to run two groups on a Thursday evening in the Centenary Lounge to accommodate everyone.
The sessions were a mix of theory and exercise with the early weeks used to undertake measurements around weight, waist and blood pressure whilst gently easing the groups into fitness sessions. All participants set their own targets for the course which have included weight loss, improved mental health and the replacement of bad habits with more healthy options.
There was a lot of apprehension within the group when meeting for the first time and having to get their measurements recorded. This soon transformed into a team mentality with the groups gelling and offering each other support throughout their time together. The format allowed for discussion which highlighted the problems people were facing but also produced empathy, understanding and solutions for those in need.
The exercise was varied with circuits, aerobics and boxercise being a few of the training treats on offer. The grou welcomed the different approaches to getting fit with initial fitness being a major worry for a lot of them. This gradual increase in stamina, flexibility and confidence led to the ladies seeking additional activities outside of the group.
Pauline, a participant of the programme, explained:
“I needed to do something to improve my health but have always found an excuse not to do anything. Now I’ve lost 10% of my body weight and feel so much fitter, I’m consciously looking at other activities that will keep me on track to hit my long-term goals and improve my lifestyle in general.”
The classroom elements also proved popular with healthy debates around diet, relaxation techniques and overcoming difficulties along the way. The group created a positive mindset together, rather than dwelling on challenges or setbacks.
Carol was keen to praise the delivery of the programme as she commented:
"The levels of expertise and professionalism were truly impressive, and the rewards were many. I've thoroughly enjoyed the programme and benefited massively."
Craig Linsel, Health and Wellbeing Officer at the Foundation, added:
“The ladies have been a delight to work with. Their enthusiasm and commitment to Fit Fans has been unbelievable and produced the excellent results we recorded at the end of the course.”
The programme has been a huge success, with the Foundation looking to continue the exercise sessions for the ladies and examining ways to introduce a similar programme based around families exercising together. We look forward to getting the group back together for the second phase and helping one another on the next step towards a healthier lifestyle.