Rangers fans put in the miles despite lockdown

Categories: Salford Business School

Glasgow Rangers FC fans are keeping fit and beating the lockdown blues thanks to a dedicated app developed through a partnership with Rangers Charity Foundation and the University of Salford.

Since the lockdown began fans of the club have racked up millions of steps using the Fit Bears Fan Fit app. Experts say regular exercise during the coronavirus lockdown will help boost both physical and mental health in a challenging time.

Fan Fit, and the version for Rangers fans, Fit Bears, is a smartphone app created by the University of Salford, that encourages sports fans to take part in physical activity by increasing their daily step count and competing against each other to see who does the most exercise and who can maintain their fitness.

It can be challenging maintaining normal steps during lockdown – globally, Fit Bit stats show that the number of steps are down across the world, but Rangers fans keep going. In March alone, they clocked up 9,087,9832 total steps, the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats 75,000 times.

March’s Fit Bears app winner Robert Bruce was able to maintain 7000 steps every day and he decided to donate his prize back to the charity to be used by someone who needs a lift.

Rangers Charity Foundation’s Senior Communications Executive, Rachel Cummins, said: “We’re delighted to see so many fans continue to benefit from the Fit Bears app, despite living in such difficult times.

“The Rangers Family always pulls together and the interactive league continues to inspire us all to remain active from the safety of our own home.

“We’re committed to supporting individuals and families via our #AFoundationFromHome initiative, which encompasses both physical and educational challenges for adults and children – Fit Bears is an integral part of this!”  

Partnered in November with Rangers Charity Foundation, ‘Fit Bears’ was launched as part of the project.  The app records steps from walking and running and creates a league table of achievement, as well as keeping supporters up to date with the latest news from the club.

Dr Alex Fenton, of Salford Business School, founder of the Fan Fit app, said: “The current lockdown has had a massive impact on people’s lives. It also means fans can’t do their normal exercise or even the usual walks or runs but keeping active is crucial for health, fitness, wellbeing and mental health.

“It’s great to see that Rangers fans have been keeping up their steps and using Fit Bears to keep them motivated. The competition, community and passion they have for Rangers is really keeping them active, even during lockdown.”

The Fit Bears app is a project from Rangers Charity Foundation working with the University of Salford for Rangers fans to keep fit, win prizes, create a friendly competition whilst getting crucial information and updates from the Charity Foundation and Rangers FC. It was funded by the Healthier Lives Data fund with Nesta and the Scottish Government.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.