A NEW app aimed at getting sports fans to think more about fitness has been launched and it could help people to get more active while supporting their favourite team.
Fan Fit, designed by staff and students from the University of Salford, will allow fans of clubs of all sports who are signed up to create some friendly competition around fitness while interacting with other fans and enjoying the latest information from their clubs.
Rugby League Club Salford Red Devils are one of the first teams to sign up to Fan Fit and are encouraging their fans to get involved. All that is needed is a smartphone, either Android or iOS.
As well as the fitness tracker the app provides video, social media and news feeds, and fixtures and results, so fans can keep in touch with the latest club new news while keeping fit at the same time.
It is hoped to eventually get players involved so that fans can compete with those players as well as fellow fans to see how fit they can get.
Dr Alex Fenton, designer of Fan Fit and lecturer in digital business from the University of Salford Business School, said: “Working with Salford Red Devils, other organisations and their fans is crucial for the project, our research and generating real life projects for our students. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to work with great community focused clubs like Salford.
“All clubs who sign up will be able to have a version in their own team colours, with their own functions to allow their fans to compete with each other to see who is the fittest, while interacting with their favourite club and other fans from around the world. We want to create engaging digital experiences for fans around health, fitness and wellbeing.
“For clubs it will work by increasing engagement and loyalty, and for fans it will motivate them to get a little bit fitter. We are also speaking to other organisations to create versions of Fan Fit for them and their fans.”
The North West as a whole recently came near the bottom of league tables for health and fitness, with rates of heart disease and stroke among the highest in the country. Sports clubs in the region believe they could be doing more to combat this, as a duty of care to their fans.
Alex, who leads the sport industry collaboration zone for the Business School at the University of Salford, said: “This is a really fun way to help sports fans get fit. It is yet another great example of the kind of work we do at Salford with industry, working directly with our partner clubs such as Salford Red Devils to try to get the best research results we can whilst addressing real health issues and creating real world impact. We have big plans for Fan Fit and we’d welcome any organisation interested to come and talk to us about it.”
Ian Blease, Director of Rugby and Operations, Salford Red Devils, said: “We are very keen for our fans and the young people we work with to get involved with this. A lot of fans from all clubs and sports just come to matches, maybe after being in the pub, and watch twenty six athletes run around the pitch, without doing any exercise themselves.
“At Salford Red Devils we want to try to change that and this could be one great way of doing it. If we can get more fans to become more active thanks to this app then it will be worthwhile.”
You can download Red Devils Fit now on Android and iPhone by visiting: http://fanfit.co.uk/about-fan-fit/
Any club that wants to sign up to Fan Fit and help their supporters shed a few pounds should contact Dr Alex Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org