#Morethanfootball Action Day – Health and Well-Being

7 April 2021

#Morethanfootball Action Day – Health and Well-Being

Since its establishment in 1950, the 7th of April is World Health Day. On this day, the WHO invites all nations and people to mark WHO’s founding and is seen as an opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.

As we well know, sport plays a fundamental role in promoting a healthy lifestyle and it is proven that adding some physical activity to the day-to-day routine has a major impact on one’s well being. Moreover, it has been shown that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

EFDN encourages its members and partners to take part in the World Health Day celebrations by promoting activities such as walking football, online training sessions, sport challenges, home workouts, mental health workshps or other creative initiative to promote an healthy lifestyle and demonstrate that football is #morethanfootball. We have gathered a few examples of how football organisations promote health and well-being.

Feyenoord Rotterdam

A Feyenoord corner opened in the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam. Red and white on the packed stands, Feyenoord shirts, the helicopter circling above Feyenoord‘s stadium De Kuip and Justin Bijlow and Marcos Senesi on the wall. The brand new Feyenoord corner in the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital represents Feyenoord in every way. From now on, children can take pictures here and feel like they are at De Kuip again for a day. The spot is meant to give all children in the hospital the real Feyenoord feeling during their stay. “From now on, we will be with the children every day,” said Ton Strooband, Manager of Social Affairs at Feyenoord.

Aberdeen FC

One promising approach to improving the mental wellbeing of young people is to bring mental health promotion into schools. In early 2019, Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust (AFCCT) and Grassroot Soccer formed a partnership to design, deliver, and evaluate an innovative adolescent mental wellbeing programme. The result is MINDSET, a school-based programme that focuses on a positive approach to mental wellbeing, enhancing the strengths and skills of adolescents to cope with the stresses of life. It aims to break down the stigma around mental health by making it normal for adolescents to talk about mental wellbeing. Recently, 180 pupils from Lochside Academy graduated from the AFCCT Mindset programme.

Scoring for Health

In late November 2020, Shakhtar Social launched the second stage of the Scoring for Health project for 200 children aged 9 to 14 at six secondary schools in Mariupol jointly with EFDN and financial support of the UEFA Foundation for Children. The project’s purpose is to encourage awareness of healthy lifestyles among the children and their parents, to allow participants to experience that sport and exercise are healthy and enjoyable, to increase their physical activity and fitness, and to promote healthy dietary behaviours. Scoring for Health will be embedded as much as possible in ongoing lifestyle interventions in the municipalities of the clubs. This will be achieved by a local working group per municipality, in which all involved stakeholders are represented. Scoring for Health is an EFDN project implemented by several members.

Saints Foundation

Volunteers from Saints Foundation have been working with Solent NHS Trust to support the rollout of the city’s vaccination programme. A team of 20 Foundation staff assisted NHS professionals at the Royal South Hants Hospital, where over 1,000 Southampton residents received their vaccination against coronavirus this weekend. The volunteers provided a friendly and reassuring presence as they guided patients through the clinic. The majority of people who received the vaccine were aged 80 and above. This marks the second time that Saints Foundation has supported these clinics. Volunteers from the charity helped manage the flow of patients at one of the city’s very first vaccination clinics, back in mid-December.

Wolves Foundation

Wolves Foundation launched Feed Our Pack, an initial £500,000 project that aims to help reduce the effects of food poverty and support residents of Wolverhampton who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Feed Our Pack will be supporting selected foodbanks in the city, with the aim of increasing the volume of food being distributed to meet increased demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with combatting ‘holiday hunger’ by providing a programme of food, sport and education to local children during school holidays.


  • Highlight your (mental) health programmes or mental health support in your local community
  • Livestream a workout
  • Show your beneficiaries excersises to stay active
  • Encourage people to talk about (mental) health through video messages from coaches and (former) players
  • Raise money for (mental) health support
  • Create a club specific playlist or workout videos to lift the mood or your fans and beneficiaries and get moving together
  • Share resources that could be useful to alleviate your supporters’ emotional distress or to provide ideas for working out at home
  • Promote activities such as walking football and fit for fans
  • Share your creative programmes or initiatives that promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Call your supporters to check-in on them and their (mental) health

Please use #morethanfootball and feel free to tag our #Morethanfootball social media accounts so we can share your posts and activities.


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