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10 April 2024



10 April 2024

Huddersfield Town Foundation take part in 2024 Drinkaware Walking Football Cup

- More than 80 walking footballers from Huddersfield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Sheffield and Oldham took part in Drinkaware Cup on Friday 5 April.
- The tournament was the culmination of Huddersfield Town Foundation’s (HTF) year-long walking football programme to promote healthier lifestyles.
- This free programme for Huddersfield and Kirklees residents was supported by Drinkaware and HEINEKEN UK.
Barnsley came away as the winners of the Drinkaware Cup, a walking football tournament on Friday (5 April) at Huddersfield Town AFC. Defeating Wakefield Wanderers in a hard-fought final, which was decided by penalties.
The tournament was the culmination of a year-long walking football programme, delivered as a partnership between Huddersfield Town Foundation (HTF), Drinkaware, and HEINEKEN UK. Nine teams from Huddersfield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Sheffield and Leeds took part featuring more than 80 players.
The 12-month walking football programme was primarily aimed at men to improve their health and lifestyles. The programme delivered light touch alcohol education and was free for residents from Huddersfield and Kirklees.
More than 120 men aged 50 to 87 took part in weekly football sessions with each being asked a series of health and lifestyle questions and took the Drinkaware Drinking Check. They were also given health advice and monitored throughout to see what had changed in their lives. Research shows men over 55 are more likely to drink at a high-risk level, which is defined as consistently drinking above the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week.
At the start of the programme, one in twenty were high-risk drinkers and initial findings showed that after six months those reporting high-risk drinking behaviours had dropped to zero. Low-risk drinkers, people who drink within the low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week had increased by 31 per cent on average. These results show a positive change towards healthier habits from participants, a full independent evaluation will be published this summer.
Niall, Wakefield Wanderers Team Captain, said:

“Wakefield enter teams at most competitions and tournaments and we sent a decent squad who hoped to do well. The team were impressed by the organisation and planning that went into the event and it was well run and well officiated with some strict referees in attendance who certainly kept the pace down. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and thanks to Oliver and his team for organising the event!”
John, a participant of the programme and Huddersfield player on Friday said:
“I’ve been moving more than I’ve done in years, have a new sense of community and a better understanding of healthy habits to bring into my life. Like when it comes to drinking, I now alternate between alcohol and non-alcoholic beer when doing rounds in the pub to help me drink in moderation”.
Siobhan Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Huddersfield Town Foundation, said:
“We have been absolutely thrilled to partner with Drinkaware and HEINEKEN UK to deliver this pioneering Walking Football programme across Kirklees.
“We wanted to provide positive opportunities for the community of Kirklees to improve their health by being able to take part in physical activity while also having education around sensible drinking habits. This programme saw sessions rolled out across different areas of Kirklees and allowed people to access the Foundation’s programmes in a very local setting.
“It has been fantastic to see how the charitable and private sector can come together as a force for social change, offering sessions free of charge is helping to remove some of the barriers people face engaging in physical and sporting activities. Improving the standard of health in our community can drive many other benefits and we are really pleased with the positive results.”
Adam Jones Business, Development and Partnership Director, at Drinkaware, said:

“As a lifelong amateur football player myself, at Drinkaware we know that sport is a powerful way to bring people together, help them get active and support healthier lifestyles.  
“We’re delighted with the positive results of the programme, and seeing people adopt healthier and lower risk drinking habits.
“It is our hope that this partnership model becomes a template for helping communities get more active while also providing education around alcohol; which can be replicated up and down the country.”
James Crampton, Director of Corporate Affairs, HEINEKEN UK, said: 

“We have been delighted to partner with Huddersfield Town Foundation and Drinkaware on this innovative and targeted solution to increase awareness of alcohol harm and to advocate the importance of moderating consumption.

“We hope that this partnership model can become a template for helping communities get more active while also providing education around alcohol; one which clubs are able to replicate up and down the country.”
Huddersfield Town Foundation hope to organise more tournaments like this across the year to bring walking football teams together.

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