The Saints - led by Dylan Hartley - have been a driving force as far as Movember's relationship with rugby is concerned, topping the Aviva Premiership Movember table in each of the last two years. The new relationship now sees the men's health foundation become an official charity partner of Premiership Rugby. Combining the charity's populist appeal and health expertise with the power of the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, together, the organisations will work with all fans to motivate men to take action to improve their health. Moving beyond the month of November – Movember's commitment to fans' health will become year round. At the heart of the partnership will be the new MOVE like a Pro initiative which will:
Combining the charity's populist appeal and health expertise with the power of the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, together, the organisations will work with all fans to motivate men to take action to improve their health. Moving beyond the month of November – Movember's commitment to fans' health will become year round.
At the heart of the partnership will be the new MOVE like a Pro initiative which will:
- Offer rugby fans the opportunity to take part in a 12-week programme at their local Premiership Rugby club.
- Increase health and wellbeing of fans at hour-long sessions using clubs' training staff and facilities to exercise and receive expert guidance
- Give men at the sessions and in the stands a long term framework to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
- Create an online portal that will be open to all Premiership fans and their families, extending the programme's reach across the country.
The MOVE like a Pro programme will be part of Premiership Rugby's award-winning BreakThru community campaign and it's at the heart of the Movember Foundation's ongoing strategy to change the face of men's health.
The Movember Foundation is the largest global charity dedicated to changing the face of men's health, raising awareness and critical funds to deliver breakthrough research and support services to help men live happier, healthier and longer lives. The charity is best known for challenging men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) whereby guys grow and groom facial furniture to start fresh conversations about men's health and fundraise for men's health.
The moustache movement has been firmly embraced by the rugby community since it first started in the UK in 2007, and since 2013 every club in Premiership Rugby has had a team supporting the cause.
"We are delighted to confirm this new partnership with Movember,” said Premiership Rugby's Chief Executive, Mark McCafferty. "Premiership Rugby and its 12 clubs have always stood for much more than just the rugby. We put great importance on our role in the local communities and know how much of a positive influence we can potentially bring. This partnership with the Movember Foundation will allow us to help have an important impact on growing the awareness of men's health.”
Sarah Coghlan, Movember Foundation said: "We are excited to be beginning this new partnership to help make a real difference to the lives of Premiership Rugby fans and their families. Being active is one of the best things you can do for your health and MOVE like a Pro is all about introducing fun, new ways to do something good for yourself and help men live happier, healthier and longer lives.'
Delivery of the club based The MOVE like a Pro partnership will initially be piloted out across four premiership clubs and scaled up nationally from September 2016. Registration for the programme will begin in October to coincide with the Rugby World Cup and the start of the new Premiership season, with the first course sessions getting underway at the clubs in January. The online portal will be launched this season and offer fans all over the country the opportunity to accept the MOVE like a Pro health and wellbeing challenge.