Saints Foundation is the charity of Southampton Football Club - we're the club's way of giving back. We use the power and passion of the club to transform lives in and around Southampton, motivating people of all ages to lead a healthy, active life. Senior Saints is our programme for over 50’s, which is comprised of more active exercise sessions and our first ever programme that specifically works with isolated older adults. Several studies have found that physical activity in older adults is linked to improved cognitive and brain function (World Health Organisation, 2011), so all sessions aim to improve physical and mental wellbeing, whilst supporting people to maintain their independence. Whilst life expectancy has increased, time spent in poor health has also increased (ONS, 2018), so our Senior Saints programme is working to tackle this and it is working. 80% of our participants said that they felt their physical health has improved as a result of taking part (Saints Foundation Interviews, 2018).
Senior saints participantBeing involved has really made a difference to my life and independence. I had never played football before coming to a walking football session and enjoyed it so much that I’m a regular at other Senior Saints sessions too.
All sessions are delivered within community venues across the city throughout the week. Senior Saints has three key focuses: a bench warming programme focused on core stability chair exercises, a walking sport programme to enjoy the benefits of fitness and age appropriate standing exercises and a social activity programme that offers a wide variety of social and physical activities, or sometimes just a chance to have a chat and cup of tea!
Senior saints participant[Since coming to sessions] things have improved ever such a lot, I’ve got much more power and the sessions have helped me to go out again. I enjoy coming to sessions and it’s another part of my social life