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Funding boost for FIT Jacks programme to get people moving in Swansea

A programme aimed at helping Swans fans aged between 35 and 65 get fitter and healthier has received a funding boost.

The FIT Jacks programme run by the Swansea City AFC Foundation is to be extended, thanks to funding from Swansea Council through the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

First launched in February this year, the FIT Jacks programme is aimed at men and women who are looking to lose weight, improve their diet and lead a more active life.

The programme sees participants take part in a 13-week weight management and behaviour change course, run by trained expert coaches at the Swansea.com stadium.

Its first group of participants benefited from a combined total weight loss of 112kg, waist measurement losses of 114cm and a total body mass index reduction of 34.30.

Thanks to the funding boost, the Swans Foundation will now work with five GP cluster groups in Swansea where referrals to the FIT Jacks programme will be offered. People will also be able to self-refer onto the programme.

The programme will be offered to local employers and businesses across the city as well, and workplaces will be approached to accommodate health testing events and workshops on health topics.

The funding boost means the programme will be made available at venues throughout Swansea as well as the Swansea.com stadium, so those identified as being suitable will be able to access the expert coaching, support and advice close to their homes.

Caroline Gwilym, Swansea City Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing Lead, said: “As a result of the success we have already achieved since the early part of this year, helping and supporting people make positive lifestyle changes through our FIT Jacks programme, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand this provision and take the programme out into the community of Swansea.

“This is thanks to Swansea Council and funding from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

“It means that we are able to work with the five GP Clusters in Swansea which will benefit so many more people.

“We are also in a position now to grow the Health and Wellbeing team at the Foundation to support the delivery on the ground, so this is a very exciting time for us.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “Fitness, healthy eating and regular exercise are so important – not just for people’s physical wellbeing but for their mental wellbeing, too.

“This is why we’re delighted to be able to support the Swans Foundation’s FIT Jacks programme through the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

“It supports all the work the council does to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.”

Cllr Hayley Gwillam, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Support, said: “This programme has been very successful since its launch earlier this year, and the funding means even more local people in communities throughout Swansea can benefit from it in future.

“Either directly or by working with partners, the council does a huge amount to promote the benefits of healthy living to Swansea residents.

“The FIT Jacks programme will complement a wide variety of other services which are in place for local people.”