08/02/2013 00:00 AM

Lou Macari bowling

Lou tries his hand at bowls, one of the many activities on offer at the Big Health Event.

United Legend Lou Macari highlights importance of healthy living

Manchester United Legend Lou Macari kicked off the ‘Big Health Event’ in Wythenshawe on Thursday 7th February.

The Lifestyle United event, which took place at Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, was attended by approximately 300 local people and aimed to encourage people to adopt a healthier way of life.  The day was supported by the Manchester United Foundation and organised in partnership with Willow Park Housing Trust and the NHS.

QuoteOpenWhatever I can do for anybody with health issues, whether it is to advise them or take them out somewhere, is the least I can do. - Lou MacariQuoteClose

Guests were able to try out new activities, including laughter workshops, line dancing and the penalty shootout, and were given the opportunity to meet health professionals and support agencies.

At the opening of the event special guests all spoke passionately about the importance of good health.  Scotsman Lou Macari said, “My manager when I started at Celtic in the 1970s instilled a healthy outlook on me.  He told us what you could eat, what you couldn’t eat, he demanded that you went to bed at a certain time, alcohol was taboo – you couldn’t drink at all, which for Scotland was quite incredible! But he was a believer that with a healthy footballer you could achieve things.”

Manchester Mencap was also present at the event – with ambassador Stephanie Bishop of ‘Looking for Eric’ fame – through their partnership with the Manchester United Foundation and the work they do to support individuals with mental health issues.  Lou also touched on this point, “Mental health is a big problem for a lot of people and it’s something close to my heart.  I go to a mental health class once a month in Stoke and feel that whatever I can do for anybody, whether it is to advise them or take them out somewhere, is the least I can do.”

In his opening remarks Woodhouse Park Councillor Eddie Newman, Chair of the MCC Health Scrutiny Committee said, “The new partnership with the Manchester United Foundation is key to making a real impact on people’s health and well-being in Wythenshawe”.

Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation, John Shiels added, “Manchester United Foundation is committed to Wythenshawe. We’ve been actively involved in this community for the last five years and see it as one of our flagship partnerships in terms of working closely with the Housing Trust and schools to improve the lives of people living in this community.”

Joe Doherty, Chief Executive of Willow Park Housing Trust summed up the day by saying, “This has been a highly successful event and just goes to show the priority that our residents place on improving their health and well-being.”