The Make A Healthy Heart Your Goal campaign, the official community health education programme of UEFA Women's EURO 2013, took centre stage in the build-up to Wednesday's semi-final between Sweden and Germany in Gothenburg.
Tournament ambassadors Steffi Jones and Patrik Andersson were among the guests at the Gothenburg fan zone to promote the initiative, which encourages women and girls to lead an active lifestyle and participate in sports such as football to help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. HRH Prince Daniel of Sweden is the official patron of the scheme, which is fronted by Sweden and Olympique Lyonnais forward Lotta Schelin.
"It is important to keep active to stay healthy, that's what this campaign is about," said former Germany defender Jones, a three-time UEFA Women's EURO winner. "UEFA would like to see each girl have the opportunity to play football in their neighbourhood and reduce their risk of heart disease at the same time."
Andersson, said: "As a footballer you need to stay fit and football is a great way to keep healthy and active, no matter what your level is."
Fans were able to demonstrate their skills at the fan zone by landing footballs inside a heart-shaped target, while volunteers received CPR training from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation.
Jones and Andersson – capped 96 times by Sweden during a decade of international service – subsequently led the 'fan walk' to Gamla Ullevi, dribbling official UEFA Women's EURO 2013 adidas match balls en route. These lively preliminaries culminated in a pre-match ceremony, with volunteers taking to the pitch to unfurl a heart-shaped banner prior to kick-off. The same will occur before the match between Norway and Denmark in Norrkoping tonight.
For details of the Make A Healthy Heart Your Goal campaign, click here.
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