Motherwell FC aims to tackle poor health after getting a grant from Heart Research UK worth nearly £10,000 to launch ‘Well Hearts’.
’Well know about the effects of heart disease after Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away whilst on the pitch six years ago aged only 36.
Run by MFC Community Trust the project will be delivered over eight weeks to 20 local schools with classroom activity covering essentials such as maintaining a healthy heart, complemented by sports coaching.
The youngsters will keep a food diary and measure the changes in their heart rate as physical activity increases.
’Well players will present medals and certificates, and each school will nominate a Healthy Heart Champion to continue the healthy heart message.
The project was launched by players James McFadden, Stevie Hammell and Keith Lasley, along with Alistair Stewart and his seven-year-old son Cormac.
Cormac was born with a blockage of his pulmonary valve and a hole in the heart.
He had two operations to correct the problem within days of his birth, and further open heart surgery just before his third birthday, and will probably need another when he becomes a teenager.
’Well captain Keith Lasley said: “When we heard the battle young Cormac had been through so early in his life, the boys were desperate to meet him and hear his story.
“Cormac and his family suffered through no fault of their own but too many people don’t look after their heart and their body.
“This initiative will help teach children the importance of eating right and taking enough exercise.”
Charlie Bennett, general manager of the community trust, said: “The loss of our captain Phil O’Donnell to heart disease a few years ago strengthened our resolve to promote healthy hearts right across all communities.”