Club Doncaster Foundation’s award winning Fit Rovers Families project turned one yesterday and recently celebrated it’s birthday in style.
Taking place in the restaurant within the Eco-Power Stadium, participants both new and old were invited to the party, to help celebrate the fantastic year for the project.
Mothers and babies were able to socialise with each other and get to meet some parents that may not have been on their course.
The group were also joined by Doncaster Rovers’ first team player, Jamie Sterry. A father himself, he discussed his experiences of being a first time dad and how he and his partner dealt with different factors involved with being a footballer and bringing up a family.
With a fantastic buffet spread to tuck into, there were plenty of activities for those in attendance to do. Mum’s and babies played a huge game of ‘Pass the Parcel’, took pictures with the personalised Fit Rovers Families selfie board, had family portraits taken and enjoyed the music and the buzz of the celebrations.
Funded by the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, the pre and postnatal courses are designed to support expectant and new mothers with their health and wellbeing.
Running for six weeks, the courses are free to attend and help participants work on both their physical and mental health through a variety of activities. As part of the post-natal courses, mothers can take part in classes such as HIIT training, all while being able to have their baby by their side.
The weekly sessions cover a wide range of health and wellbeing topics, such as mental and physical health and include visits from health professionals.
Post natal courses also include nutrition and mini first aid activities too. Parents get the chance to socialise with other parents while their babies can enjoy a variety of sensory play, which differs each week during the first hour.
After completing the 6 week course, parents are able to continue on their Fit Rovers Families journey by attending the weekly VET’s sessions with their baby and are supported with referrals to other programmes, such as the hugely successful Fit Rovers and Fit Rovers Ladies programmes, to help them continue with exercise and their physical and mental health.
The project was named EFL League Two Project of the Year at the EFL Awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament earlier this year and has had support from a number of people across Doncaster, including Doncaster Central MP, Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton.
Anna McWade, one of the mum’s in attendance, completed the post-natal community course earlier in the year. She spoke of how her experience with the project has given her some life long friends: “Jude loves coming for a social party every week. There are other mum’s I’ve met from attending the course. A lot from the course I was originally on, then subsequently as a VET following their new courses.
“One of the other mum’s is a yoga teacher, I now go to her yoga classes on an evening.
“It’s just about having a network. Even just to be able to reach out to, when you’re feeling on your own or need a little bit of advice, knowing others are in that position.
“We’ve got a private core support group, also a WhatsApp group, people to have a chat to when we need.
“I moved to Doncaster not knowing anybody. Since taking part in the post natal course, I’ve now made more friends within the staff and the other members too.”
Lauren Platts, Health & Wellbeing Officer, who set up the project and delivers both courses, spoke of the success over the past year: “It’s been an incredible year for our Fit Rovers Families project.
“We’ve seen the project grow so much over the past 12 months and engaged with so many families already. There’s been some fantastic feedback from parents who’ve attended the courses and it’s always such an incredible moment when we welcome new mum’s to the post natal course after they’ve attended the pre natal course and finally get to meet the new babies.
“I’m incredibly proud of the award winning project and the support we’ve had. We’re already planning how to take this project to the next level and we can’t wait to continue to help and support more families across Doncaster.”
Are you a new or expectant parent and would like more information on the pre and post-natal courses, please contact email@example.com