Scoring for Health
The Scoring for Health programme encourages children from the ages of 7 to 13, and their parents, to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make them aware of the value of eating healthily and being active. One of the drivers behind the programme is the recent work by the World Health Organisation, which finds that obesity in children remains an important public health problem in Europe. Childhood obesity is a multifactorial disease associated with a wide range of serious health and social consequences including a higher risk of premature death and disability in adulthood.
There are 4 overarching factors which contribute to the problem, these being:
- Poor eating habits
- A decrease in physical activities for children
- Increase in sedentary behaviours
- Lack of adequate physical environment or secure spaces to play
Preventing childhood obesity, supporting the development of healthy dietary preferences and promoting physical exercise from an early age is therefore essential. Scoring for Health is designed to tackle these issues with a 2 ½ year programme. The participants are provided 2 periods of 20 weeks of various activities with a particular focus given to eating habits and physical exercise at schools in order to provide information and encourage the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Participants will be given be specialist interactive classes, learning sessions and workshops on a weekly basis on topics such as nutrition, cooking, physical activity and football sessions. The launch events for the programme will be held at the stadiums or elite academies of the participating clubs where, with players from the club supporting them, the pupils will have the opportunity to enjoy a day of sports and games as well as several educational workshops. Key physical indicators and health determinants (weight, height, BMI, speed, balance etc) will also be measured, collected and calculated for each participant, giving an instant analysis of each child’s fitness and providing a scientific basis for allowing comparisons and defining the participants’ progress.
The Scoring for Health website and social media channels will provide the participants with online resources and tools to support their healthy living journey and will allow them to keep track of their progress and interact with their peers.
At the end of the programme, before receiving their diplomas, each child will participate in the Scoring for Health closing ceremony which will again be held at the stadium or elite academy of the participating clubs. The same physical measurements will be taken to give a final comparison and show the pupils their achievements and players from the clubs will be on hand to thank them for their hard work and provide advice and encouragement to maintain a healthy lifestyle far beyond the programme. The aim of the programme is to not only have a direct long-lasting impact on the children participating but also indirectly on their families, their teachers and the wider community.
A Pan-European Programme
The Scoring for Health programme will run in cooperation with 6 EDFN member clubs in 5 different countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK and Ukraine; the clubs being:
- Club Brugge
- Feyenoord Rotterdam
- Legia Warsaw
- Brentford FC
- Chelsea FC
- Shakhtar Donetsk
Finally, the Scoring for Health programme aims to inspire other grassroots and professional football organisations to face the issue of childhood obesity and provide opportunities for learning and tackling the problem to an even wider audience.