24 Sep 2019 Danish FA launch ‘Football for the Heart’ this World Heart Day
This World Heart Day, Danish Football legend Michael Laudrup will help to launch ‘Football for the Heart’, a new initiative from the Danish Football Association, South Denmark University and Danish Heart Association which aims to get Danes living with cardiovascular disease to play recreational football.
Michael Laudrup is widely regarded as one of the finest playmakers of his generation, with an uncanny ability to find the right pass in the final third of the pitch. In the past, he played with footballing legends Romário and Hristo Stoichkov. This week he plays with Niels – one of over half a million Danes living with cardiovascular disease.
Hospitals in Denmark generally provide effective treatment for people requiring acute care, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular disease. However, an increasing emphasis is being placed on community programmes and interventions which help in both the treatment and rehabilitation of people living with cardiovascular disease.
One area that has seen significant growth in Denmark is using recreational football as a tool to encourage individuals to increase their physical activity levels. There is a growing evidence base that suggests that football-orientated exercise can have significant physical and mental health benefits for participants living with a variety of different conditions.
Research in Denmark and several other European countries has demonstrated that recreational football can improve aerobic fitness, lower blood pressure and increase muscle strength which all have protective effects when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
‘Football for the Heart’, a new initiative co-launched by the Danish Football Association, South Denmark University and Danish Heart Association with support from TrygFonden, will specifically target individuals living with cardiovascular disease, and intends to increase participant’s physical activity levels to help with their condition.
Speaking about the new programme, Danish Heart Association ambassador and Danish national team legend, Michael Laudrup said:
“I support ‘Football for the Heart’ because cardiovascular diseases can affect everyone and because I want to draw attention to what you can do about it. Exercise and team sports are a great place to start, and here football can provide a positive community and bring people together.”
It is hoped that the ‘Football for the Heart’ initiative can improve the quality of life for those living with cardiovascular disease and will also act as a preventative investment in cardiovascular patients’ health.
Aabenraa, Copenhagen, Skive and Herlev are the first municipalities to start Football for the Heart. More municipalities and football clubs will follow in 2020.
‘Football for the Heart’ derives from the so-called ‘Football Fitness’ concept, which consists of recreational football with varied training and exercises for both beginners and experienced players. The project aims to attract over 800 Danes living with cardiovascular disease from 10 municipalities to play football at one of 30 football clubs within three years
‘Football for the Heart’ is financially supported by TrygFonden. You can read more about the project here: