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EFL Week of Action | Nathan Jones supports Hatters walking footballers

5 April 2022

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones helped shine the spotlight on the Luton Town Community Trust as the EFL Week of Action kicked off with a walking football session last night as part of the Fit Hatters programme.

The Town manager took time out of his busy schedule ahead of the midweek trip to Peterborough to give the participants a pep talk ahead of their session at Inspire Sports Village in Stopsley.

The Fit Hatters programme is a behaviour and lifestyle change programme focused at both Male and Female participants aged from 35 to 65 years old, where the participants are required to have a specific weight, waistline and BMI.

The Fit Hatters is a 12-week theory and practical based programme and once the 12-week theory programme is completed, there are then 12 weeks of maintenance with the groups which is where the walking football on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday originated from.

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Along with the walking football, the Trust also runs two circuit training sessions on a Tuesday at Denbigh High school, with the other on a Saturday morning at Ely Way called ‘Away Day' Hatters, where up to 40 participants training from 10am to 11.30am.

For the Monday walking football session, the Trust have partnered with Active Luton to run a sister programme to the Fit Hatters for 18 to 65-year-olds.

“I think it’s brilliant,” said Nathan. “With the Community Trust here at Luton, we take the community so seriously and it’s a massive part of our club, a massive part of what we want to achieve and what we want to do.

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“When I first came here I wanted to make sure the community was involved. We know the importance of our fans, the community of people around the stadium and in Bedfordshire, it’s a great thing.  

“Something like walking football I think is wonderful. There are so many benefits, health benefits, mental benefits, physical benefits, inclusion for everyone to be rolling back the years and doing things in teams. I think it’s wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed watching it tonight.”

As well as addressing the players before kick-off, Nathan signed T-shirts, cards and posed for pictures at the end. After two years of so much community activity having to be done from a distance, or behind a screen, he made clear how much he enjoys being out among the Town supporters who sing his name on a Saturday afternoon or midweek night. 

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“That interaction with fans and local people is something we’ve missed,” he said. “Obviously when fans weren’t allowed in, we really missed that interaction on a matchday, but the things that are important to the football club off the pitch have had to be approached in a different way.”

And it’s not just the players who deserved acclaim. Community Trust coach Vicky Farleigh was recently appointed as assistant coach to the England Ladies Walking Football team, with her first game coming up against the manager’s native Wales – for whom Kenilworth Road receptionist Janet Cleaver plays – later this month.  

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“It’s a wonderful achievement,” said Nathan. “We love our coaches at the football club, we think we have very good ones right throughout the club, and then to not only be recognised locally, but internationally as well with England is wonderful. We wish her well and we’re very proud of Vicky for doing that, but I know her first game is against Wales so let’s hope she won’t have a successful start!”

More info is available on the Luton Town Community Trust website and twitter: https://www.lutontowncommunity.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/LTFC_Community


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