For lifelong Celtic supporter John Paul Leonard, taking part in the Great Scottish Run to raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation is his way of paying it forward, having benefited from the Foundation’s work at first hand.
John Paul is a previous participant of our immensely popular ‘Football Fans in Training’ (FFIT) project. Supported by the SPFL Trust, the project allows followers of the game to come together – under the banner of their Club – to lose weight and embrace healthier lifestyles.
FFIT gives Celtic fans the opportunity to attend lifestyle information workshops, educating participants on the importance of nutrition for health and vitality. This is coupled with a rigorous exercise programme with tracking elements, measuring weight-loss and fitness indicators.
The project first came to John Paul’s attention two years ago while looking for ways to improve his lifestyle.
John Paul said: “I had lived away for a number of years and been relatively fit but when I returned home I was going out with friends and having dinner with family more often, so I began falling into some unhealthy habits.
“I had put on a couple of extra stone and could really notice it at my waistline. I then saw the FFIT project advertised on the Celtic FC website and thought it was a great opportunity for me to get back on track.”
“The coaches on the project have been absolutely brilliant. They’re great at giving you a bit of encouragement and pushing you to improve yourself without putting too much pressure on you. They make it enjoyable which keeps you coming back. The other participants on the project were all great too at spurring each other on. It’s been a great success for me as I have lost weight and I’m now living a much healthier lifestyle, thanks to FFIT.”
Having directly benefited from the project, John Paul is keen to give back to Celtic FC Foundation and the Great Scottish provides the perfect opportunity for him not only to raise funds but also to continue to stay healthy and active.
“Doing the Half Marathon to raise funds for the Foundation allows me to give a little something back in return for what the project has given me and my family.”
“It’s also a great way for me to challenge myself and to continue to stay fit. I ran the Half Marathon for Celtic FC Foundation last year and it was a fantastic experience. When people in the crowd see you in the Foundation T-shirt you get plenty of cheers and when you see another runner in theirs it gives you a lift. “Last year I managed to raise £500, so I’d be delighted if I could raise a similar amount this year.”