Football activates the elderly

The “6-0! Promoting health through recreational football” project will start in January.

Individual activities such as walking, swimming or exercising at the gym are often offered to the elderly as a way of maintaining their physical abilities. Additionally, research in the field mostly concerns individual physical activities.

Research studies support the health benefits of football

The “6-0! Promoting health through recreational football” project starting in January aims to activate the elderly by getting them to play football. The two-year project funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Sport programme is coordinated by Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

-    The Danish in particular have been active with their ‘Football for fitness’ concept, in which the elderly play non-competitive football with adjusted rules, says Mikko Julin, who acts as Project Manager for the 6-0! project at Laurea.
-    More than 150 research studies show that the health benefits of football for the elderly are at least as good if not better than those of the individual activities traditionally offered.

With its partners, the 6-0! project commencing now sets out to promote the idea that football as well as other ball games are proven to have a positive impact on the health of the elderly, too.

Collaboration with local operators

Partners of the project coordinated by Laurea include Coventry University in the UK, Jean Monnet University in St. Etienne, France, GAIA in Bilbao, Spain and ESoCE-NET in Italy. The project partners also have local affiliates, such as the Leppävaaran Pallo football club, collaborating with Laurea. The project will last for two years, and it has a budget of EUR 300,000 with EUR 70,000 allocated for Laurea.

-    Laurea’s special strength in this project lies with its long-term collaboration with sports operators, Project Manager Julin says.
-    In this way, we can bring in collaborators and potentially create more daily activities for them, too. Pre-existing collaboration with local sports clubs and municipal operators is a Finnish advantage.

Project activities will commence in autumn 2019, when football activities for the elderly will be organised within the 6-0! project’s framework in all five participating countries.

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