Shamrock Rovers fans have secured the first Bank of Ireland Healthy Football League title and recognition as the League of Ireland’s fittest fans.
For the past three months, Shamrock Rovers staff have been busy behind the scenes encouraging their affiliate grassroots clubs and their wider community to get active and improve their health and well-being.
This approach has worked extremely well as Rovers quickly gathered the largest group of Healthy Football League participants and comfortably cruised to the winning line and the Bank of Ireland sponsored prize.
Shamrock Rovers Head of Communications Mark Lynch said: “The Healthy Football League provided a great opportunity to engage our network of grassroots affiliated clubs in a fun health and well-being programme where they could also involve their wider network of friends and family.
“We are delighted at how this has worked having accumulated the largest group of participants in the country and consequently, we are now very happy that our fans and friends are the Healthy Football League Champions.”
Almost 4,000 fans represented their local clubs amassing thousands of miles of healthy movement and exercise which translated as competition points for their clubs.
It also provided an opportunity for grassroots clubs to partner with local League of Ireland clubs for the competition.
The Bank of Ireland Healthy Football League is an online, app-based, competition that encourages fans of League of Ireland football clubs to exercise and to gain the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The idea behind the Healthy Football League app is to use the inherent rivalry between Irish football fans to motivate them and their friends and families to get physically active.
The initiative encouraged every member of the community to score points for their favourite club by using the app while walking, cycling, or running.
Derek O’Neill of the FAI’s League of Ireland department said: “This was the first Healthy Football League in Europe with every National League club represented.
“People have made huge efforts around the League of Ireland and local grassroots club communities to support their local clubs while at the same time enjoying the benefits of a more active lifestyle.
“Huge credit must go to Bank of Ireland for their support in enabling League of Ireland clubs to forge closer links in local communities
and facilitating an opportunity for thousands of people to get more active.”
FAI Community Development Manager, Derek O’Neill, Shamrock Rovers Academy Director, Shane Robinson and Bank of Ireland Manager Tallaght Branch, Eoin Kelly with the prize