Community Projects Plus


Are you MatchFit?

Are you MatchFit?

Community Projects Plus launch MatchFit – improving the health of Sunday footballers! Teams from across Leicestershire have the opportunity to take part in a Chlamydia screening programme in return for a Mitre match ball for their club! If you are aged between 16 and 24-years-old and would like to receive a free Chlamydia test then text ‘MatchFit’ to 88020 and include your name, address and date of birth.

To get involved see our projects page!

PRESS RELEASE

Are You Really MatchFit?

The expression ‘match fit’ in football is used to describe whether a player has the fitness to perform with intensity and to the best of their ability for 90 minutes, but a health improvement project recently launched in Leicester has brought another meaning to the phrase.

Leicester-based Community Projects Plus is aiming to improve amateur footballers’ awareness of health issues, specifically focusing on Chlamydia screening, alcohol awareness and stopping smoking, through the MatchFit Health project.

Funded by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, the project is working in partnership with the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA and The Alliance Football League to screen footballers, aged between 18 and 24-years, for Chlamydia.

The project’s other targets include providing information on the impact and effects of alcohol and details about the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland NHS Stop! Smoking services, to help support more players to give up smoking.

MatchFit was launched on January 1st this year and will run until the end of March. Within the first week, a total of 147 players were screened and the project is aiming to screen as many local footballers as possible.

LPT staff, in partnership Community Project Plus, have been attending matches and training sessions to carry out Chlamydia screening tests, which simply involves players providing a urine sample that is sent to the lab for testing. The players receive an anonymous text with the results within 7 to 10 days.

 Each club taking part receives a good quality match ball and is entered into a free prize draw to win a full team kit. Players can also win individual prizes on match days. Any teams interested in taking part in this programme must have at least five players aged 24 and under who are prepared to take a test, as well as changing facilities and toilets.

Jon Hunt, from Community Projects Plus, said: “Matchfit is about using the sport arena to raise awareness of health issues. It’s an innovative approach to health care that supports people who may not usually take part in these types of schemes.

“Community Projects Plus would like to thank the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, The Alliance Football League and The Leicestershire & Rutland County FA for supporting the Matchfit project.”

Patsy Richards, Health Improvement Service Manager at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, added: “Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is pleased to be working in partnership with Community Projects Plus delivering the MatchFit project. We have explored many ways of engaging young people in health programmes, but working with CPP, who have excellent engagement with sporting teams on the ground, has enabled us to be more innovative in reaching young people who usually may not have taken part in our screening programmes. Improving the health and lifestyle choices of local communities is key to our work”

Anisha Jaiyeola, Chlamydia Screening Advisor, who has been attending the football MatchFit events, added “The reception from the players and teams has been great! A fresh early morning start full of banter has created a unique atmosphere and enabled us to work with players who are really interested in their health but would not normally access services.”

A group of students from Loughborough University recently took part in screening at the Superstars event, which was part of their Health and Well Being week, and players from local clubs, FC Tumar, Countesthorpe Athletic, Reem Team and NRI who play in the Alliance Football League, have also been screened.

One player, Danny Earley said, “MatchFit made us think more about our health and it’s great for our team to get a quality match ball because we took part! I’d encourage more teams and players to sign up.”

If your team or sports club is interested in taking part in the screening programme please contact hello@communityprojectsplus.org

If you are aged between 16 and 24-years-old and would like to receive a free Chlamydia test then text ‘MatchFit’ and include your name, address and date of birth to 88020.