Huge boost for MLAP Programme
By Steve Grace
Hundreds of people have already turned their lives around thanks to the Move Like A Pro (MLAP) programme, and that number is set to increase after the pioneering project won National Lottery funding from Sport England.
Move Like A Pro is a 12-week programme designed by Premiership Rugby’s professional rugby coaches for people who aren’t currently particularly active, inspiring a legacy of long-term lifestyle change across the rugby fan community.
Offering both classroom and activity-based health interventions, including those related to levels of physical activity, diet changes, social connectedness and mental wellbeing, MLAP was originally designed for men aged between 30 and 55.
And it has certainly had plenty of success to shout about thus far, increasing the daily average step count of men on the programme by more than 3000 steps, whilst also adding an extra day of activity to their week.
But now women will also be able to benefit from the programme as MLAP has been awarded funding as part of Sport England’s strategy to improve people’s health and mental wellbeing through sport and activity.
The programme will also extend into workplaces and Premiership Rugby Community & CSR Director Wayne Morris is excited at what the future holds for MLAP.
“Move Like A Pro has helped men to be more active, eat a bit better and feel happier and healthier,” he said. “The impact the programme has had thus far has been phenomenal, and I’m delighted that we can now extend the programme to women.
“The fact that we are also taking the programme’s teachings into workplaces focusing on people in lower paid jobs up and down the country will also help our ambitious goal to use our brands, players and assets to make a major contribution to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in our communities. That vision is called ‘A Plan to Improve A Million Lives’ and we look forward to seeing the impact Move Like A Pro has on this mission.
“Whilst the programme has been designed by our coaches, you don’t have to be a rugby fan to join, and we won’t be putting anyone in a scrum!”
Sport England is funding a wide range of projects around the country, using varying approaches to help people to feel healthier, happier, more confident and able to cope with life’s pressures, or more connected to their families and communities.
Sport England research shows that a third of people in lower paid and routine jobs, are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. And inactivity in people in lower paid, routine jobs is twice that of people on a high income in senior and managerial roles.
Sport England Executive Director, Mike Diaper, said: “Premiership Rugby has a strong track record of working with their local community and we’re very excited by how their project will make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“We know that people on a low income can face many practical and emotional challenges that make it difficult for them to be as active as they would like to be. So we’re working with community-focused organisations across the country to find ways to help people fit physical activity and sport into their lives in ways that work for them.
“The lessons we learn from this local project will really help to shape our work with similar groups across the country.”