Rotherham men on the ball when it comes to their health

The Rotherham United Community Sports Trust walking football group received a visit last week from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) programme to talk to them about the importance of taking up their free NHS screening invites.

The group was formed to get men over the age of 50 back into sport to improve their level of fitness but at a more leisurely pace.  As well as the fitness aspect, the group also raise awareness among their members of general health and wellbeing and invited the AAA Screening programme, which is provided by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, to speak about the importance of attending screening for a potentially life-threatening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

An AAA is a swelling of the aorta which is  the main blood vessel that leads away from the heart, down through the abdomen to the rest of the body. The aorta can weaken with age and is most common in older men.  AAA is a potentially life threatening condition.  In most cases, an AAA causes no noticeable symptoms although some patients who were found to have an aneurysm reported they felt a pulsating in their tummy.  Screening consists of a painless, non-invasive ultrasound scan, offered to men aged 65 and over, which can spot a swelling in the aorta early on when it can be treated.  The results are given to the patient at the end of the test and there are 36 locations across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw where men can be screened.  The Trust also have access to a health bus that can be taken to different locations making it even more convenient and accessible.

Ryan Canadine, Health Coordinator at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, said: “Our mature millers group is made up of males aged over 50 who share a passion for Rotherham United and fitness.  We meet weekly and talk about the weekends game and also discuss general health, this is  followed by a fitness session.  The group play in tournaments and travel all over the country and have recently played in Portugal.  If you love football (and Rotherham United!) come and join us.”

Babatunde Fakolade, AAA Screening Programme Manager, said : ” Around 1 in 70 men aged 65 in England has an AAA and around 3,000 deaths occur each year in men aged 65 and over  from ruptured AAA.  The programme aims to reduce this figure by detecting AAA’s early and offering appropriate monitoring or treatment.  If undetected, the condition can be fatal.  Men who have AAA will not normally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important. The test is simple, non-invasive and usually takes less than ten minutes.”

If you’re male over the age of 65 and have not yet been screened please contact the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme on Tel: 01709 649100.  For more information and details on locations, go to: