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Fit Rovers participant reaps the benefit of attending the Club Doncaster Foundation project

14 June 2024

There’s a whole range of projects delivered by the Foundation on a weekly basis, that constantly have an impact on people’s lives within the city and one of them is Fit Rovers Men. 

Since the start of the Fit Rovers Men’s project back in 2017, 30 courses have been delivered to men from across the local community, with 698 individuals taking part in the free 8 week long programme and a further 49 men engaging with the mixed daytime courses too. 

Funded by NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board & Public Health Doncaster, those who sign up to attend the programme, engage in a 2 hour session, with the first involving a number of informative sessions and discussions, followed by a physical based activity. Following the completion of the 8 weeks, participants can go on to attend weekly VET’s sessions including circuits and football. 

One participant has taken the course in his stride. Mikey King started his Fit Rovers journey back in April 2023, after hearing about the course from friends and family members and the benefits it could have on him as an individual.

He spoke of what the 8 week course did for him personally: “I heard about the course from some friends who’d already completed it, aswell as family members who’d attended the women’s equivalent. I thought it may help educate me on ways to become healthier, and it really has.

“I gained the knowledge of nutrition, benefits of different exercises and the best ways to fuel your body. I feel more confident in myself and I no longer hate the way I look in the mirror.”

Mikey has since gone on to rack up nearly 90 attendances since the completion of his course, at VET’s sessions and regularly attends both the circuit and football. Something that he enjoys attending alongside his dad, Tony, who was on the same 8-week course. 

“My dad wanted to see what the course was about, so it made sense for us to attend at the same time,” Mikey said.

“It’s great because I get to spend time with my dad, we can work on our fitness journey together and support each other along the way.”

He’s also become one of the youngest committee members within Fit Rovers, helping to support and make a difference within the project itself, attends the Foundation Fitness gym throughout the week and recently took part in two of the biggest events in the project’s calendar, Play on the Pitch and the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.

Talking about what Fit Rovers means to him, he said: “It really has helped me massively. I don’t think I’d have had the mental and physical strength to complete both events, especially with how close they were to one another, if I hadn’t started on my fitness journey with the Foundation. 

“It’s like a family, Fit Rovers. I love seeing the same happy faces, week in week out, either in the gym or at the sessions and I’ve gained so many news friends, people I can talk to, whenever I need it.”

Greg Carroll, delivers regularly on the Fit Rovers courses and has seen the impact first hand: “Mikey has been a great addition to Fit Rovers from the moment he joined. 

“He’s fully bought into everything that we’re about, within the courses and is a regular attendee within the circuit and football sessions every Thursday. 

“It was great to see him involved in two of our biggest events of the year, the Play on the Pitch event in May, followed by the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge last weekend, both which he admits he probably wouldn’t have been able to complete as easily if it hadn’t been for Fit Rovers.

“His commitment to attending regular sessions has resulted in some incredible weight loss results, along with lots of mental health and social benefits too. 

“Mikey is a credit to everyone at Fit Rovers and we’re proud to have played a small part in his journey, one which we believe has nowhere near finished yet.”

This week is International Men’s Health Week, which aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems that affect men and encourages them to seek help. Topics that the staff cover within the 8 week courses, providing a range of information to participants.

Reflecting on International Men’s Health Week, Mikey said: “I think it’s really important for men to talk about their health, especially mental health, something which the course has helped me to do more of. 

“Sometimes we think it’s a sign of weakness if we discuss our problems or show signs of emotion. No-one should be scared to share their troubles or emotions.

“More often than not, someone else will have encountered that same problem and together we can help each other overcome troubles.”

Want to come along and get involved in the Fit Rovers project? Get in contact with the team about joining one of our upcoming courses,

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Fit Rovers participant reaps the benefit of attending the Club Doncaster Foundation project