More Than Football – Community

Wed 28th March 2018

As part of More Than Football Action Week, today we are looking at the Foundation’s impact on the community through a variety of local projects which are now reaching more people than ever before in Govan, Glasgow and beyond.

The Foundation operates over 25 programmes locally, reaching thousands of children, young people and adults with positive messages, help and assistance in areas such as education, health and wellbeing and employability.

Current community programmes include the hugely successful Football Fans in Training initiative which helps fans improve their fitness levels and lose weight. Funded by the SPFL Trust and supported by the Scottish Government, the most recent 12-week course saw a mix of 49 men and women lose an incredible 42 stone 6lbs between them and a combined 323.5cm disappeared from their waist lines.  

Employability is a growing priority for the Foundation and this area of work has been boosted by the Foundation recently becoming an accredited SQA centre. Its Ready4Employment programme, for example, aims to improve the job prospects of local people in partnership with Jobcentre Plus by delivering an individual training programme to develop skills, confidence and relevant experience.

Darren McKelvie recently graduated from the course and succeeded in getting a job where he is currently learning new skills every day. He commented: “The Rangers course was great and working has been brilliant, I love it!”

Programmes such as Coach4Success and Get Started work with young people to help them build the skills, confidence and motivation necessary to get their working lives off to a great start and stop the cycle of unemployment in its tracks.

Other programmes include Glasgow Veterans United which aims to improve the wellbeing and lifestyle choice of veterans struggling with mental health issues, addictions or social isolation. This initiative has attracted plaudits from many sections of the community, including from Lord Dunlop, who recently visited the programme.

He commented: “I think it is great to see an initiative set up to provide help and support to those servicemen to cope with life outside the armed forces. Some of the stories I heard here at Ibrox were truly inspirational.  I think there’s a lot that can be learnt from that programme and hopefully it’s something that can be extended across Scotland.”

Football Memories is another project having a real impact on people in need, helping to improve the lives of football fans with dementia by inviting them to the Stadium and using football images and memorabilia from the past to aid recall and to stimulate memories and conversation.

The Foundation also works with many schools in Glasgow delivering programmes focused on equality, health and wellbeing such as +Sport, Move and Learn, the Old Firm Alliance and Get Ready For Sport.  Thanks to the Foundation, local kids are getting fit, having fun and receiving information on community and healthy lifestyles that should help them achieve a brighter, happier future.

We strongly believe that football is much more than just a game – it can be life changing for so many people.  More Than Football Action Week is a unique European-wide movement that celebrates what football can achieve off the pitch and the positive impact we can have on our communities.  Find out about #MoreThanFootball here.

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