Published: 00:01, 10 May 2014
Free football coaching from professional trainers is on offer to men in Gravesham to help tackle a lack of physical activity.
Starting on May 13, with a launch at Ebbsfleet football ground, the sessions are aimed at men who do little or no exercise.
Called Back to Football, the coaching sessions will be run by FA qualified football coaches. The sessions start with light exercise and basic football skills, with those who attend on the first session able to play on the pitch at Ebbsfleet.
Dr Manpinder Singh Sahota, from Pelham Medical Practice said: “Too much sitting both at home and at work is as bad as smoking and this has been quoted by many national newspapers.
“Not moving enough is linked to diabetes, depression and cancer. If you don’t use it you will lose it applies to the whole body. A team sport such as football is great for both physical and mental health.”
A report called Turning the Tide of Inactivity, published by health campaign group ukactive, put Kent 53rd out of 150 local authorities for the number of inactive adults.
They say the inactivity is causing 300 premature deaths per 100,000 people and costing the council £18m every year.
The sessions are run by the Gr@nd healthy living centre, who are now challenging football supporters to get fit in time for the World Cup in June.
Organiser Amit Hayer said: “We want all those local men who spend the weekend cheering on their team and shouting at the TV to pull on some boots and get back on the pitch.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve done no exercise at all or used to play and want to get back into the sport, this is the place to start.
“The sessions will be informal and friendly but with a sense of challenge depending on ability – there’s something for everyone.”
As well as football skills coaching, there will be free nutritional advice on hand from the organisers too, supporting those who want to go the extra mile with diet advice and information on the best way to recover from exercising.
The sessions last 12 weeks and will be held every Wednesday between 6.30pm and 8pm at GNG sports ground, in Trinity Road next to the gurdwara in Gravesend.
Anyone interested in going should contact Rav or Amit at the Gr@nd healthy living centre in the Old Courthouse in King Street, call 01474 320123 or just turn up on the night.