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"Match Fit Can - it's brilliant!" Hugh Fearnley - Whittingstall

Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is heading up the ‘Newcastle Can’ initiative and while he’s been in Newcastle he did some filming with the Foundation’s Schools team to observe Match Fit sessions, as well as going into the City Centre with our Health Van to encourage people to have health checks. Read his latest blog below!

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in Newcastle lately, working on the Newcastle Can initiative, which aims to encourage healthy living and eventually see the city lose a collective 100,000lb!

“One fantastic project that I’ve been privileged to witness is the Match Fit programme, run by the Newcastle United Foundation and supported by the city’s much-loved football club. Match Fit is a six-week fitness, football and nutrition course for primary school children. It encourages good, healthy habits and explains that real athletes are powered by real food. The children take part in fun classroom sessions, followed by plenty of physical activity out on the pitch.

“I’ve seen Match Fit in action and I think it’s brilliant. The guys from the Foundation wear the iconic club strip, which delights the kids from the off. Information on healthy eating is dished out through games and challenges, with the children being encouraged to make simple healthy choices like drinking 6-8 glasses of water and trying a new fruit each day. The classroom sessions I took part in used an impressive toolkit for teaching the children about good nutrition and what makes a proper healthy meal. Quizzed at the end of the course, it was clear the youngsters had really taken these lessons on board. The course also begins and ends with a fitness test: within the class that I joined, 73% of the kids were fitter after the six weeks – a massive achievement.

“This is just one of the inspiring projects I’ve connected with as part of Newcastle Can. If you haven’t already joined the campaign, please check it out at We’re on a mission to lose weight, get healthy and show the rest of Britain how it’s done!

“Individuals, organisations and businesses are getting involved and inviting friends, family and colleagues to join them. Each person that signs up gets their own personal food intake diary and weight loss dashboard, lots of information about healthy eating and exercise, and details of upcoming events and local resources. There are many teams on the website, including businesses, gyms and even neighbours, all working together and encouraging one another.

“We all know that changing habits in order to lose weight and get fit is difficult. Newcastle Can is there so you can share the challenge with others, and take inspiration from our growing community. I really hope you will get involved.

“Here is how you can join the Newcastle United Foundation ‘Newcastle Can’ team!

Join Newcastle United Foundation Team!
1. Visit and enter your email and postcode
2. Either complete with Facebook OR enter your details and press ‘next step’
3. Enter the additional details, tick the boxes and press ‘create account’
4. You are now registered and logged in. Press the X to remove the box up box and then copy and paste this URL into your browser: (alternatively you can select the teams tab and search for Newcastle United Foundation)
5. Select ‘Request to join’

– Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall” | #NewcastleCan

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