The 12th Man project sees the Community Trust deliver lifestyle workshops to 90 young people a year involved in its Premier League Kicks programme.
- Participants gain skills and confidence to promote good health with their friends and families.
- Project is supported by the Premier League and Wigan Council's Deal for Communities Fund.
- "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me as a Wigan Athletic fan" - Keegan Swift.
Wigan Athletic's Young Health Champions recently got to experience the life of a professional footballer as they were given an exclusive tour of Latics' training centre as part of the 12th Man Health Champion project.
Participants who have been completing a Royal Society of Public Health qualification to give them the skills and confidence to promote good health with their friends and families, were shown around the facility and met the club’s first team players and management.
The 12th Man project, funded by the Premier League, sees the Community Trust work in partnership with Wigan Council to deliver lifestyle workshops to 90 young people a year involved with its Kicks project. Boys and girls between the ages of 12–19 take part in 10 weeks of workshops around healthy eating, the dangers of smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and promoting good mental health.
Latics fan and 12th Man participant, Keegan Swift, said: “I enjoyed the tour so much because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me as a Wigan Athletic supporter. Not many people will ever have the opportunity to meet the players in person, so it was just brilliant.
He added: “To be able to watch training and get the signatures of every player was just amazing. I had loads of things for them to sign and I’m just so happy that I got to meet them.”
The project is supported by Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities Fund, which has invested £45,000 into the Community Trust’s Kicks programme to support the health scheme and increase the amount of sport sessions, with a particular focus on female participation over the next three years.
Kicks give over 1,200 young people a year between the ages of 12-19 the chance to play football and sport on evenings and weekends. Participants are encouraged to become volunteers and gain new skills and qualifications while taking part in more physical activity.
Dan Burn, Latics’ club captain, said: “It was great to meet the Young Health Champions and for them to watch us train and see how we keep healthy every day. It is our responsibility as professional athletes to maintain a strict diet so we can perform at our maximum level, so if we can help to inspire these young people to lead healthier lives too then it’ll be a positive for everyone.”
For more information about Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s 12th Man Health Champion project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01942 318090.