FITC to run new scheme after receiving funding.
Colchester United and their Football in the Community team will be helping North Essex children to learn about healthy hearts and the dangers of poor lifestyle choices thanks to a grant from a national heart charity, Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® stores.
The U's Football in the Community scheme has been awarded £8,500 to fund a new project that will benefit nearly 700 Key Stage 2 children in local schools by giving them a lesson in heart health, installing knowledge and awareness that will last them a lifetime.
The six-month project, 'Cardio-Active' begins this month and will teach the children about the importance of having a healthy heart and the dangers that poor lifestyle choices can have on their heart health.
Sessions will also cover preventative measures like interpreting food labels so that heart health becomes an essential part of day to day life.
Children will also learn about the benefits of exercise as part of six, hour-long Healthy Heart workshops and linked sports activities.
As well as getting them more active at school, the project will help to increase physical activity by challenging pupils to move about for at least a mile a day throughout the session by walking or jogging.
They will be asked to keep a log of this and at least one walk a week be with a family member to increase parent or sibling involvement.
U's Community Manager Corin Haines said: "Colchester United Football in the Community is delighted to be working with Heart Research UK and Subway on what is going to be a great project for Colchester and North East Essex.
"The importance of heart health and reducing the risks of heart diseases cannot be emphasised enough and we are proud to be working towards this with local school and children in our community.
"As well as spending some time in the class room with these children we will be getting them active and making sure they are aware of the benefits that sport and exercise has to your health and wellbeing."
Nine schools within the Colchester and North East Essex area will benefit from the project, helping to improve wellbeing and heart health in local communities by inspiring children to live healthier lifestyles.
The project's success will be measured through a child-friendly workbook which will be provided for each participating child, featuring Colchester United players to keep it fun and engaging, as well as promoting positive role models for the children.
The project will culminate with a matchday celebration event on Saturday 16th April at the club’s Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Children and their families will be challenged to move a mile during half-time of the match, and health checks will be offered to attending parents in the family concourse.
"This project will also bring children and their families together and help people to live healthier, happier and longer lives."
Heart Research UK National Director, Barbara Harpham, said: "It's great to see Colchester United Football in the Community helping hearts of young people living near them, learning good habits that will last them a lifetime.