Today, during National Obesity Awareness week, West Ham United’s 150Club is celebrating the milestone of having 400 participants completing the four-month healthy living programme.
Through the Players’ Project, West Ham United players Pablo Zabaleta, Fabián Balbuena and Gilly Flaherty are throwing their support behind better health in the community and the 150Club in particular is one of the schemes already seeing success.
Run in partnership with NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Newham Council, the award-winning 150Club provides mentoring and physical activity sessions to all Newham residents.
The programme is helping to tackle high rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the area and is changing lives in the process. Newham has the second highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the whole of England, with over 26,500 residents currently diagnosed. Newham also holds the lowest percentage of physically active adults in the whole country, with around 45% exercising for the NHS’s recommended amount of 150 minutes per week.
The programme wants people to get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week and that is our challenge to the whole community, whether you are in the 150Club or not.
However, all 400 successful ‘completers’ have successfully increased their weekly exercise, with the average participant’s weekly exercise time growing from 83 minutes when they joined to 326 minutes at the end of the 24-week programme.
Having experienced the initiative and spent time with some of its participants, Pablo Zabaleta said: “This is a great accomplishment, it really is making a difference to people’s lives. The programme wants people to get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week and that is our challenge to the whole community, whether you are in the 150Club or not.
“Anybody can make these changes to be healthier. It can be hard to exercise given people’s busy lives, but it’s all about getting the right balance and, the little things, like walking to the shop instead of driving will get you more active.”
“As players we know we have to think about what we are eating, exercising and really taking care of ourselves to be the best we can be. We want the local community to do the same so that they can benefit from a healthier lifestyle.”
Through a variety of exercise options including walking football, Zumba, chair-based exercise and gym work, the 150Club is able to meet the needs of all of its participants with something available for everyone. If you’re a Newham resident and want to get involved with health projects run by the West Ham United Foundation, please email [email protected]