MP Ed Miliband has hailed Doncaster Rovers as much more than just a football club after seeing first-hand the community work carried out by the Club Doncaster Foundation.
The Doncaster North MP visited the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday to meet students from Club Doncaster Sports College, as well as join in a Fit Rovers session.
Fit Rovers is a scheme aimed at improving the health of men, giving lifestyle advice and lifestyle guidance which has seen remarkable results - with more than 74 stone collectively lost across the first six editions of the course.
Ed said: “Doncaster Rovers is much more than a football club, with the fitness and education programmes it is at the heart of the community and inspiring the community.
“The club are doing an amazing job in getting people who would not normally keep fit into fitness, healthy eating, losing weight, feeling fitter and better about themselves.
“The way Doncaster Rovers is at the heart of the community is incredibly impressive, if you look at what is happening with all the community work and in education - I also met students who are really inspired by what they are learning and the environment in which they are doing it. The club is really to be congratulated on what it is achieving.
“They are inspiring successive generations, you have the older generations doing the fitness courses then the younger generation here studying. There is then their parents or relatives being inspired by them being here, which is what a football club should be doing - using its inspiration to be at the heart of the community.”
Ed spent time talking to Fit Rovers participants about their motivation for taking part in the sessions, and hopes the successes at the Keepmoat Stadium can be built on to help people across Doncaster.
He added: “I met one chap who had lost seven stone in a year as a result of this. And it’s not just from the exercise, but from changing his diet and other lifestyle choices. It is that inspiration Fit Rovers has given him to make the changes in his lifestyle - just imagine what that could mean for the National Health Service.
“It is better for people, but also for the NHS as you don’t have people getting ill because they are overweight and causing the public purse money. People are voting with their feet by coming back and being part of it. When I look at what is being done I want to see it being done more - I hope you can reach out across the whole of Doncaster.”
Everyone who purchases a Season Membership prior to the end of the initial purchase period on April 13 will be included in a daily prize draw, with many money can’t buy prizes available.