Shadow Health Minister, Mike Penning MP has congratulated Football League Clubs for their dedication to improving health standards in their local communities as The Football League Trust launched a new health campaign in conjunction with all 72 clubs.

'Building Healthier Communities' is an umbrella initiative designed to focus all future health work of the Trust, ensuring that it has the widest and deepest impact possible on the communities surrounding all member clubs across England and Wales.

Clubs from across The League attended the launch at stadiummk, home of Milton Keynes Dons, to showpiece their individual efforts which ensure healthy living is at the forefront of people's minds. And having witnessed their commitment, Mike Penning MP was full of praise for the collective work.

"The Football League is incredibly success in its work to improve the health of its local communities," he said. "And I warmly welcome its commitment to build on that success by launching the Building Healthier Communities campaign.

"League clubs are at the heart of their communities and it is fitting that they are using the undoubted power of football to tackle the big social issues of the day."

Working with over 1.5 million people a year, the Football League Trust - a charity tasked with overseeing the community work of League clubs - harnesses the power of football in order to address current social issues.

Across the health sphere, Football League clubs are already delivering projects on: drugs and alcohol abuse; sexual health awareness; mental health; ethnic minority health schemes and smoking cessation. Other initiatives include improving access to health services; reducing heart disease; combating obesity and improving health eating; and raising awareness of general health campaigns.

And this dedication was displayed on the day with Nottingham Forest demonstrating their WATT Bike system which is also used employed by the British track cycling team. Their city neighbours, Notts County exhibited rowing machines and Southend United explained their numerous exercise projects targeting young children in their community.

Dave Edmundson, General Manager of the Trust, said: "The Football League Trust is committed to building healthier communities around each one of our 72 clubs in England and Wales.

"Our activities already reach over 1.5 million individuals across England and Wales and we are determined to build on this success with a real focus on improving the health of our communities."

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