Watch the April 2022 panel discussion featuring experts in the fields of physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and substance abuse discussing latest scientific knowledge and guidance.
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To mark World Health Day and the culmination of our Coaches for Health #FeelWellPlayWell campaign, UEFA staged a panel discussion featuring the following experts in the fields of physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and substance abuse, discussing latest knowledge and guidance.
- Michele Uva, director of football and social responsibility, UEFA
- Dr Fiona Bull, head of the physical activity unit at World Health Organization (WHO)
- Prof Dr med Tim Meyer, chairman of the UEFA Medical Committee
- Dr Matteo Pincella, nutritionist for the Italian national team and FC Internazionale Milano
- Milena Bertolini, women's national team coach, Italy
- Gemma Grainger, women's national team coach, Wales
- Roberto Martínez, men's national team coach, Belgium
The panel, moderated by journalist and television presenter for Sky Sport Italy Federica Masolin, aims to:
- Convey clarity on the role that football and football coaches can play to reach specific health objectives.
- Raise awareness around scientific evidence about health risks that affect adolescents and comprehend why healthy lifestyles can help prevent non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc.) that are the leading cause of premature death, as well as mental illnesses.
- Highlight inter-linkages between physical and mental health as both equally important components of someone's overall health.
- Underline the role played by nutrition, physical activity, mental health and the prevention of substance abuse on the overall health and sense of well-being of individuals.
A video of the session can be watched at the top of this page.
Coaches for Health – #FeelWellPlayWell was launched in December 2021. It invited coaches of European men and women's national teams to use their influential voices to advocate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for young people aged 13-17. This was done by filming short messages on four main topics: nutrition, physical activity, mental health, and substance abuse – and for those messages to be disseminated on the social media channels of each national association.
UEFA worked with the Italian non-governmental organisation Fondazione Insieme contro il Cancro (Together against Cancer Foundation), providing UEFA with scientific guidance.
Overall, 33 associations participated in the campaign, with a total of 62 national team coaches (men and women) across the UEFA region.
Health & well-being policy
Coaches for Health is part of UEFA's health and well-being policy, one of 11 policies identified under UEFA's Football and Sustainability Strategy 2030, Strength through Unity, which aims to inspire, activate and accelerate collective action to respect human rights and the environment within the context of European football.
The policy focuses on safeguarding health and well-being through football activities across all age groups, and through awareness-raising activities around non-communicable diseases. The 2030 ambition is to mobilise the football community to promote better health, active lifestyles and widen the engagement of players across age groups, particularly young and older people.