Schoolchildren at Pollok United have spent the last 12 weeks engaged in fun, physical activity, while also learning the skills to lead healthier lifestyles thanks to pioneering football project, GoFitba.

GoFitba is an exciting football-based health and wellbeing initiative for primary school children which provides a platform for physical activity through football and a weekly interactive educational journey to discover simple ways in which they can stay active and lead a healthier lifestyle through diet and nutrition.

20 local schoolchildren from Mosspark and Our Lady of the Rosary Primary Schools have spent the last three months participating in the project at their local community football club, Pollok United Soccer Academy, which is a Legacy level club in the Scottish FA’s Quality Mark accreditation programme.

Pollock United are one of twelve Partner Community Clubs to engage in the GoFitba programme, which is delivered by the Scottish Football Partnership Trust (SFPT) in association with community football clubs.  

Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell and Minister of Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf visited Pollok United on Friday, 22 June to get a taste of what the programme offered the young participants.

They saw the children enjoy an hour of fun, football-based activity led by club coaches, followed by an hour where they were taught about diet and nutrition by completing their very own learning journal.

To round off each weekly session, the children are served a hot, healthy meal that also provides an opportunity to enjoy social time together.

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Sport and Public Health: “The GoFitba project is a great opportunity for children to learn about the importance of health, nutrition and physical activity while having fun at the same time. It is great to see so many children and football clubs involved.

“The Scottish Government is committed to helping communities across Scotland to have healthy lifestyles and get more active. Projects like this demonstrate the power of football and other sports to help achieve this.”

Andy Elliott, lead project coach at Pollok United: “We are delighted to be working in association with the Scottish Football Partnership Trust on this new project, which will see our club welcome a total of 40 local school children over two 12 week project blocks this year. 

“We are always looking for new ways to engage with the local community and the GoFitba project is a fantastic way to showcase what we can offer to young members of our community at our excellent facilities here at Dennis Donnelly Park. 

“Participation in sport can bring a lifetime of benefits and we look forward to working with the children initially from Mosspark Primary and Our Lady of the Rosary to get fit, get healthy and have fun.”

Stuart McCaffrey, Chief Operating Officer at the SFPT: “GoFitba is a project which we have worked hard to develop over the past 18 months and it is fantastic to be funding its delivery at Pollok United Soccer Academy in conjunction with the UEFA Foundation for Children and The Kilpatrick Fraser Charitable Trust. 

“The sport of football when used positively can act as a significant tool for personal and community development and we are excited to see our project develop and grow in partnership with Pollok United – a grassroots organisation truly at the heart of the community.”