The League of Ireland gets underway this weekend but it is not the only League that we will be tracking this season for the clubs involved.

The Bank of Ireland sponsored Healthy Football League is set to kick-off in just over a week on Monday, February 28 and League of Ireland players have been urging their supporters to sign up to see their club named as the healthiest club in Ireland.

The app-based health promotion programme will use the friendly rivalry of football fans and communities to encourage health-enhancing physical exercise.

The competition is open to people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re a serious fitness enthusiast or someone who just likes to walk for health and well-being, you can score valuable points for your club and visibly affect their position on the HFL table. Every step will count towards the team HFL position.

It is a positive way to have fans engaged in their being part of the club and keeping up their own momentum on moving for wellbeing.

Players from across the SSE Airtricity Premier and First Division and Women’s National League were in attendance at Dalymount Park yesterday to formally launch the competition.

“We’ve been delighted by the reaction from the League of Ireland supporters so far and it’s been great to see so many people sign up,” said FAI Community Development Manager Derek O’Neill.

“The competition is set to get underway before the end of the month and with the League of Ireland set to start on Friday, today was the perfect opportunity to further promote more engagement and sign-ups from the League of Ireland community.”

“We’re hoping for another great League of Ireland season but also a fantastic inaugural Healthy Football League competition which will see supporters across the country get active in 2022.”

Speaking at the launch of the FAI’s Healthy Football League, Bank of Ireland’s Retail Banking Ambassador Olympian Rob Heffernan.

“I’m all in favour of anything that encourages healthy eating and physical exercise, and I also love the competitive element of the Healthy Football League.”

“This is a fun and exciting way for League of Ireland fans to support their favourite clubs, and also reap the rewards of healthy living at the same time.”

The HFL, developed by the European Football for Development Network, is set to get underway on February 28 and supporters are urged to download the app and sign up ahead of the three-month competition.


Sport for Business Perspective

How it becomes embedded in the habits of the fans will be down in large part to how it is promoted in real-time through the season. Having a Healthy Football League table alongside those of the actual competition on the League owned media would be a good start and it will be interesting to see how the initiative develops.