A free exercise programme at Ibrox Stadium is helping men with prostate cancer ‘look forward’ again. 

Prostate Scotland and the SPFL Trust have launched Prostate FFIT - a 12-week initiative designed to support men with prostate cancer through their treatment.

Attendees meet other men sharing the same journey and improve their fitness through walking football, and learning drills and skills of the beautiful game. 

As a tailored version of the SPFL Trust’s flagship health and wellbeing programme, Football Fans in Training (FFIT), the programme is being delivered by community coaches from The Rangers Charity Foundation and The Killie Community, along with Prostate Scotland’s cancer exercise specialist. 

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

We caught up with a few men involved in the programme to discover how Prostate FITT has transformed their lives. 

Bob McIntyre, 81, was diagnosed with stage three advanced prostate cancer on July 30, 2021. 

“I felt angry, shocked and fearful – I also had no idea how I was going to tell my family or what I was going to tell them,” Bob told the Glasgow Times. 

He added: “I know the route that I am on, and I am conscious now that my health is deteriorating and I suspect that over time, my horizons have diminished little by little. 

“But that changed five weeks ago when I came here. 

“These guys are great; they are super and what they have done is they have encouraged me to look forward.

“The team here speak to you, and they understand – they don’t treat you like an idiot even though we probably are, but they are wonderful. 

“They are there for us and my horizons have raised. I’m looking to do things that frankly I hadn’t thought that I could do.”

Glasgow Times:

Jim Cole, 71, was diagnosed with prostate cancer on February 21, two years ago.  

Reflecting on the programme, he said: “The positive of this programme is that I am with guys who know what I am talking about. It’s good to talk and it’s also good to listen to the stories of the other men here.

“I live by myself, so I have no one to really talk to about this. But coming here I get to talk and get a wee bit of exercise.”

George MacGregor, 77, was diagnosed at Stobhill Hospital and sent for radiography treatment at the Beatson. 

He said: “I find (the programme) very good. I find the physical part of it quite hard for me, but I think the best thing about being here though has been talking and listening to other people. 

“We have a bit of fun in there and it is very supportive.” 

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Prostate FFIT has been developed by Prostate Scotland in partnership with the SPFL Trust, the University of Glasgow Health and Wellbeing Institute and The Exercise Clinic, as well as clinicians and men living with prostate cancer. 

The initiative was founded last year, and 54 men took part throughout 2023 at the programmes in Rugby Park, Tynecastle Park and Ibrox Stadium. 

Glasgow Times:

Elaine Stewart, services development manager for the Prostate Scotland, said: “The main feedback we have received is that it is great for men to be in amongst others who are going through the same thing. There is a lot of Camaraderie. 

“We have been blown away by the amount of chat amongst the men and how open and transparent they have all been with one another. This programme helps men to live with prostate cancer and that’s what this is all about. 

“It is a privilege to be part of this. I have really loved being involved. Watching their progress is amazing. This is football bringing everyone together.”

Glasgow Times:

John Joyce, one of the community coaches from The Rangers Charity Foundation, said: “Just seeing them all come every week is a highlight. 

“We set a goal each week which is just to be here and just live – and they are here every week or second week. 

“They come along and have a good laugh and some fun. 

“The first week, there was not even a conversation and now you can’t get them to shut up. 

“I think this is making a difference, they have all lived and experienced something. The fact that they are here and doing a bit of physical exercise when the average age range in this group is 71, is amazing, and it is a testament to them. I take my hat off to them.” 

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Statistics show that one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at one point in their lifetime. 

If you or anyone you know has been affected by the illness, you can find information and support HERE 

To sign up for the Prostate FITT programme, click HERE