During the final week of the current post-natal Fit Rovers Families course on Wednesday, participants were joined by Doncaster Central MP, Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton, after she was involved in the team being presented with the League Two Project of the Year Award at the EFL Awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament earlier this year.
Participants were celebrating completing their final week of the course, with a fitness circuit, followed by a teddy bear’s picnic, giving them the chance to interact with each other alongside VET’s participants from previous courses. During the picnic, Rt Hon Dame Rosie sat with participants to discuss the course and find out why they’d decided to join the programme.
The post-natal course is a FREE 6 week programme, based at the Foundation Fitness gym at the Eco-Power Stadium, designed for new parents, to help ease them back into exercise following birth. The programme enables new parents to attend with their baby, eliminating the worry of childcare for individuals.
The two hour weekly session covers a wide range of health and wellbeing topics, such as mental and physical health, nutrition and mini first aid. 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.
Following this, the second hour focuses on physical activity, with low intensity exercise classes, including Buggy HIIT sessions, resistance band training, circuit classes and yoga, all being completed with their baby by their side.
After completing the 6 week course, parents 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.
Rt Hon Dame Rosie spoke of her visit to the session: “I was so proud that Club Doncaster Foundation won this award, I’m so impressed with all the work that’s gone into making this project a success. To actually see it live here, is just incredible and inspiring.
“It was great to see the number of mum’s that were there today, who were really keen to participate.”
After sitting down with some of the parents attending the session, Rt Hon Dame Rosie discussed the feedback she’d had from participants, about the course: “The mum’s said that getting on this course meant that they could bring their babies along and they could keep exercising too.
“The babies are going to be looked after here and they can keep an eye on them too. Some of the mum’s have had C-sections and were nervous about what exercises they could and couldn’t do and the advice from the staff here has helped them. They also said it’s been good for their confidence, mental health and meeting new people.”
“As a Foundation, here, you’ve got people coming from all over, coming together, getting to know each other and the community spirit really builds up.”
The post-natal project, alongside other Fit Rovers projects, is funded through the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and has been running since November last year. Emma Price, Head of Transformation at the ICB, also attended the session on Wednesday and has been pleased with how the project has taken off over the past few months, including winning the League Two Project of the Year award at the recent EFL Awards.
“We’ve seen lots of mums and families join the programme and even had a number of mum’s moving on to attending our Fit Rovers Ladies programme too.
“This programme is the only one in the UK that is linked with a football club. What we’re going to see over the next 12 to 18 months for this project is the growth into the community.
“The course is completely free. By going into the community and expanding the programme further, will really help the project and support even more families going forward.”
Plans are already being drawn up to take the award winning project into the local community, offering the course to even more parents across the city, more so for those who may not be able to travel to the stadium on a weekly basis to take part in the programme currently. One area that the health and wellbeing team are looking at targeting, is the Bentley area.
Nabeel Alsindi, GP & Place Medical Director for the ICB was also in attendance at the session on Wednesday, to take a look at what a regular session entails. He spoke about what he witnessed: “It’s really inspiring. We see a lot of people, such as young mum’s, who are struggling in the period after giving birth, and peer support really helps, which is something that is evident here, after being here for just a few minutes.
“I’m really excited to hear there is plans to expand to the local community. It can be hard for people to get to central locations, so bringing these services to people can help break down these barriers.”
Are you a new or expectant parent, interesting in our FREE pre or post natal courses? Contact email@example.com to speak with a member of the Fit Rovers Families team.