My View: Get on the move with Doncaster Rovers

David Crichton with Club Doncasters Nick Gillott.
David Crichton with Club Doncasters Nick Gillott.

Doncaster people are less active than they used to be and, with around one-third of local adults being classified as obese, it’s time to help change this and get moving more.

Regular physical activity can help reduce conditions such as dementia, depression, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, hip fractures and early death, while easing pressures on the NHS by potentially reducing the number of appointments with a doctor.

I’ve just been appointed vice chair of Doncaster’s Health and Wellbeing Board – a partnership of local public and other organisations – and we’ve been looking at the amount of physical activity and sport that takes place in the borough. We want to promote Get Doncaster Moving through the combined efforts and resources of Doncaster Council and wider partner organisations.

It’s a big challenge. For example, a survey of local primary and secondary school pupils revealed only eight per cent said they did physical activity that caused them to get out of breath, or sweaty, for an hour or more on at least five days in the week before being questioned. As a result of this information I’ve encouraged my son to regularly take part in our local parkrun. There’s one every Saturday morning at Sandall Park, it’s not a race and everyone’s welcome.

Similarly, a national survey by Sport England found that over the past three years the number of people aged over 16 who take 30 minutes exercise at least once a week has fallen.

Doncastrians need to act now to prevent worsening health and mobility problems in the years ahead. Helping people to avoid getting ill by taking greater responsibility for managing their own health and wellbeing is a key objective of the recently launched Doncaster Place Plan, which sets out the ambitions of the borough’s local authority and health organisations over the next five years.

As a clinical commissioning group this is constantly on our radar and this week sees the launch of a new health improvement scheme we’re supporting called Fit Rovers, – run by Club Doncaster Foundation, Doncaster Rovers’ community arm.

Fit Rovers is a free eight- week men’s health course, taking place every Thursday evening at the Keepmoat Stadium, combining tailored fitness sessions and health workshops to help men aged over 30 lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

It’s confidential, meaning you can keep track of how well you’re doing on a one-to-one basis with the staff, plus incentives such as sportswear, player visits and money off match shirts.

Contact Club Doncaster Foundation on 01302 764663, or Club Doncaster Foundation