Football West has partnered with Healthway to commence a two-year, $550,000 partnership to improve sporting club environments for children and young people.
The Healthy Footballer, Healthy Community program focuses on the health of players, coaches, referees, volunteers and the wider football community and will see the Smarter than Smoking message promoted to more than 240,000 people across Western Australia.
Health Minister Roger Cook today announced the program, which he says is vital for fostering healthy young people and building a healthier community.
“Providing healthy lifestyle education through sporting clubs is a great way to encourage young people to make informed choices about their health in a supportive environment, while they are enjoying physical activity,” he said.
The program will ensure education sessions are delivered to more than 9,000 Football West stakeholders, including about 240 local clubs across a mix of traditional football competitions and social football programs. Through these sessions, Football West and Healthway aim to reinforce the link between playing sport and being healthy, providing practical skills and resources to promote a smoke-free and healthy lifestyle.
The partnership also provides opportunities for more than 10,000 participants involved in Football West’s Inclusive Program, which is designed for people who may not otherwise be able to participate in sport or other physical activity.
Football West Chief Executive Officer James Curtis said the partnership provides further support to clubs in promoting a healthy lifestyle to children and young people.
“The Healthy Footballer, Healthy Community program signifies a fundamental aspect of Football West’s commitment to fostering healthy club cultures – from players to officials and volunteers to fans,” he said.
“We are pleased to partner with Healthway to ensure our sporting communities are being provided with the highest level of support in developing and sustaining healthier lifestyles.”
Clubs will be encouraged to provide fruit and vegetables during and after the game, and appoint club ambassadors to ensure grounds continue to be smoke-free.
Smoking is still a major cause of disease and illness in the community, and preventing exposure among children and young people is a priority for Healthway.