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Guys and goals

Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt is backing a campaign aimed at addressing the health issues that exist amongst Haringey men.

Guys and Goals, a men’s health programme run by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, will be taking place at Broadwater Farm Community Centre over the next 10 weeks.

Sessions are free for men aged 35+ and offer 60 minutes of physical activity with Tottenham Hotspur community coaches, followed by a 30 minutes of ‘locker room talk’ on various health-related issues.

It hopes to address the fact that life expectancy of men in Haringey is lower than the national average, with a discrepancy of 9 years between the east and west of the Borough.

Early deaths from heart disease and strokes in Haringey currently stand at 89 per 100,000 of the population under the age of 75. The national average is 74 per 100,000 of the population under the age of 75.

Mabbutt, a former Tottenham Hotspur captain and currently the Club’s Ambassador, played with diabetes throughout a career that spanned nearly 20 years.

He attended a launch event on Broadwater Farm last week to give his backing to the project and share his experiences with potential Guys and Goals participants.

The 50-year-old said: “The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain your fitness. But the fitter you are, the more chance you have of avoiding illness.

“I think the education of health issues amongst older men has been neglected and too many men don’t realise the risks involved if you do not maintain your health and fitness.

“But Guys and Goals brings those issues back into focus, so I was delighted to see so many people attend the launch and express an interest in joining the programme.

“It’s a free, 10-week programme, educating guys about how they can improve their health through enjoyable sessions, which is vitally important given the health issues that exist in our Borough – things that can be avoided by keeping yourself fit.

“For example, I know that there are many undiagnosed diabetics in the country and programmes like this would help men identify if there was a problem and encourage them to receive a check-up.”