Football clubs launch Extra Time Hubs to tackle loneliness among older fans

Tom Walkerin General Interest

A group of 12 English Football League (EFL) clubs have launched a programme looking to tackle loneliness and inactivity among older fans.

The initiative will see the creation of a network of Extra Time Hubs, designed to engage retired and semi-retired people by harnessing the "unique assets" of the EFL Club Community Organisations (CCOs) network.

The hubs will look to bring older people together by providing a range of activities - from sports and quizzes to arts and crafts - which could benefit their physical and mental health.

Funded with the support of Sport England's Active Ageing fund, the hubs will initially be created at a dozen CCOs across the country.

The 12 hubs are set to hold launch events at their respective grounds throughout June. The clubs involved in the scheme are Bolton Wanderers, Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Crawley Town, Derby County, Lincoln City, Northampton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Shrewsbury Town, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic.

"We have a big ambition - to help older people to benefit from a national movement of Extra Time Hubs that will make a positive difference to how thousands can enjoy their later years," said director of operations at EFL Trust, Mike Evans.

"Extra Time Hubs will enable people to decide which activities they want to do and not be prescribed for them, as well as giving people the opportunity to meet like-minded people and feel less isolated."

Sport England's executive director for tackling inactivity, Mike Diaper added: "Often it can feel like the barriers to getting active grow as we age but there are simple changes people can make to get active or stay active and Sport England invests National Lottery funding into projects like the EFL Trust's Extra Time Hubs to make that happen."

You can view the original article from Sports Management here