In the world of football, coaches take fitness and well-being extremely seriously, honing the bodies of players to enable them to perform to the best of their ability. Training sessions, healthy eating and a general healthy lifestyle help to deliver optimum performance and help to extend the longevity of players’ careers.

But what about those of us who follow the game but are not as focussed on fitness as perhaps we should be?

Having reached the age of 59 and feeling much older, my lifestyle and eating habits not only contributed to a significant weight gain but began to affect my general mobility. I had thought for some time that I needed to do something and perhaps this was the opportunity.In September of last year, Raith Rovers signed up to the SPFL Trust initiative aimed at assisting ‘out of form’ supporters, improve their levels of fitness and in the process improve their health choices. I was browsing the Club’s website last September and noticed the headline ‘GET FIT FOR FREE!’. The article was aimed at encouraging fans to become involved in the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) being run by the head of Community Development, Paul Doig.

I was obviously concerned about not being able to fully take part in the programme, not being able to match my peers during exercise sessions and worse, not keeping to their dieting regime.

Well, 6 months later, I have lost 5 stones, cast away my 51 inch trousers and am now exercising regularly, feeling much better physically and within myself.

Credit has to go to Paul and also Glenn Milne, a former FFIT participant and now a coach, who supported me throughout.

I discovered that FFIT was not a ‘diet & exercise’ regime but more a programme of health education. I learned about what my body required to get me through each day, and then how to obtain those requirements in a healthier way – nutrition, portion size, fat & sugar content etc.

There was exercise of course – no extreme workout style training but a regime that enabled everyone to participate at their own pace and ability with the aim being to achieve small, steady, achievable improvements.

It was the best signing I ever made.

Any fans interested in joining the next 12 week FFIT course should email to register. The next session is likely to begin in August.



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