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Fit Rovers Ladies celebrates five fantastic years

06 February 2024

Since the start of the first pilot course, over 500 women have been involved with the ever-growing project, which was created off the back of the already successful Fit Rovers Men’s course. Today sees the team celebrate 5 years of the project. 

The health and wellbeing team have just started delivery of the 19th ladies course and continue to deliver weekly VET’s sessions at the Eco-Power Stadium, every Wednesday evening. 

Those attending the courses spend 8 weeks with the staff, taking part in interactive classroom based sessions, discussing a range of health topics including mental health, nutrition, benefits of exercise and setting their own personal goals. Following on from the classroom session, participants then move on to a fitness hour where they get involved in a range of activities from football, to circuit sessions, HIIT sessions and even a boxing session. 

After completing their 8-week course, they can then move on to become a VET and attend the weekly circuit and sport sessions available. 

Health & Wellbeing Manager, Lauren Cuttell spoke about the impact the project has on the local community: “In 2017, we set up the men’s provision and following that, we had a lot of them asking us if their wives and other family members could come along. 

“We really didn’t have anything for the women at all, so we sourced funding for the pilot project. Following the success of the pilot course, which had 20 women attending, there were so many enquiries. There’s nothing like what we do, that’s completely free. 

“We cover all aspects of mental health, physical health and also tailor it to people’s needs and abilities, so it’s a course for everyone.”

“Without the current funders, Public Health and the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and the initial grant from Sport England we wouldn’t be where we are today, supporting so many women across Doncaster.”

The courses to date have seen a collective weight loss of over 800kg and over 2300cm waist circumference loss, with an overall mental health improvement of 22.68% too. 

Lauren went on to say: “It’s not just about the weight loss. It’s about the goals they set and us trying to help them to achieve it. 

“We like to keep it fun and engaging but it’s also just keeping in touch with people and bettering their health physically and mentally.”

Claire Howle, who completed course 3, has been attending sessions ever since and has registered 442 attendances to date. 

“I wanted to lose weight mainly, so I decided to join up. It’s helped me massively, but coming every week helps. I’ve got more confidence now, in meeting people. It’s a bit nerve wracking coming but I’ve met new people so it’s quite nice. 

“Mentally, I do struggle, with anxiety and a bit of depression, but coming here every week, it does help.

“Before I probably wouldn’t have joined any group or any kind of activity. It’s now a normality for me. A Wednesday night is my night, two hours where I can come and have a laugh with people. 

“You do what you can do, you push yourself to do as much as you want to do, you get a lot of support, it’s just a fun place to come.”

The ladies also get support from professional players from both Doncaster Rovers and Doncaster Rovers Belles, who have attended numerous sessions over the course of the 5 years, giving an insight into the challenges they face and how they can relate to the sessions delivered within the course. 

With additional activities organised for those who wish, such as the Who Dares Wins activity day at Kingswood Dearne Valley, the project gives participants the chance to push themselves out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves with new activities alongside each other, with the support from the group and the staff too. 

Another VET’s attendee, Maureen Harwood, has been able to do more activities, thanks to the regular sessions she attends: “It’s helped me build up my stamina, but I also think it’s given me the confidence to do other things. 

“I’ve gone on to do a tough mudder and some other charity runs, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t done this course. 

“Each time we come, there’s different activities, different layouts, I like the ruggedness of it and you can come along, you can enjoy it, have fun, learn lots of new things, meet new people and improve your life for later.”

Interested in joining the ever growing project? You can find out more information on the courses by contacting

Fit Rovers Ladies celebrates five fantastic years