The GoFitba project, established by the Scottish Football Partnership Trust, has received glowing reviews from parents, coaches and youngsters alike.
The project was started with the aim of providing children from disadvantaged areas in the country with the education nd opportunity to learn bout the importance of healthy eating and exercise. The report was released in the partnerships 'Keepie-Uppie' magazine.
The first block of the project was delivered between March and June 2018 by 12 clubs, providing for more than 200 disadvantaged schoolchildren in their local communities.
Over 3,800 hours of eduction was delivered over the 12 week period, with over 1,900 hot meals being served over the same time period.
Each week was made up of two hour sessions, with the first hour being dedicated to exercise and football development, with the second focusing on the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
The interim report shows some promising statistics regarding how well the project has been implemented. 94% of the children involved in the project felt they were made more aware that an hour of moderate activity on a daily basis would help them stay healthy, with 98& reporting that they would continue to remain active in football or other sports.
The report also showed an increase in the children's confidence, with 88% of participants reporting that their self-confidence increased as a result of the project. 93% felt more confident working in groups and 91% felt encouraged to get their friends involved as well.
There are even more positive signs of the project helping with the children's education towards healthy eating, with reports of over 85% of children understanding the importance of various aspects of eating well in regards to fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, protein and more.
The key statistic being that 90% of children stated their intent to continue eating healthily.
The project has also had a positive reaction from those involved. A parent from Spartans had this to say: "Lewis is now always looking forward to Fridays at school and this is because he knows he has GoFitba at the end of the day. He says he loves the food and wants to have more of this at home.
"He wasn't that into football before now but the project has resulted in him asking for his first ever pair of football boots."
Teachers have loved it too! Heather Sabatini, the Deputy Head Teacher at Shortlees Primary in Kilmarnock had this to say: "GoFitba has provided our pupils from SIMD 1/2 areas with a fantastic opportunity to develop their fitness and learn more about the importance of eating a balanced meal through a very structured and progressive football programme.
"The pupils have felt included, involved and engaged throughout the project and their self-confidence, communication, decision-making nd problem-solving abilities have improved significantly with all pupils now socialising when they eat and engaging in conversations with each other.
"The family session on the final week was very successful too and parents/carers really enjoyed having the opportunity to share in the success of their child's learning."
This is only an interim report, but if results continue to be this promising by the time the project finishes, it could be a mainstay in children's education for years to come.