AYR UNITED Football Academy have been given £7000 to help educate schoolkids on keeping their heart healthy.

The ‘Pump it Up’ programme is aimed at 10-12 year olds and takes off from Ayr United’s Football Club’s charity arm Ayr United Football Academy (AUFA) in up to ten schools across the country.

The Heart Research and Subway Healthy Heart Grant has been given to the academy to allow them to help local school children from some of the most deprived and remote areas in South Ayrshire, understand the important ways to keep their heart in a good condition.

A range of engaging workshops combined with football will take place and will educate the kids on how then can keep their heart in the best shape possible at a young age.

Various methods are being undertaken by the academy to ensure that these messages are conveyed in an approachable and enjoyable way so that information is consumed by the youngsters.

They will learn how hard the heart works to pump blood around the body and why exercise is so important. Local school children will also have the opportunity to create their own snack bars and learn what constitutes a healthy lunch.

In addition, a league table across a host of schools will be put in place and star players could earn a trip to an Ayr United home match and have the opportunity to take part in a game on the Somerset Park turf.

Ross Armour, Football Development Officer at Ayr United Football Academy, said: “As part of the local community, Ayr United Football Academy wanted parents and children to be honest about their heart health. There are a lot of ways to teach health, but we believe the best way is to live it - get kids playing, get them designing their own food and get them exploring the workings of their own heartbeat.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of Heart Research UK and Subway. This funding means we can reach an area where choosing healthy food or getting to a sports club is a tough game. We’re hopeful we can turn the clock on heart disease in Ayrshire.”

Sarah Mirfin, Lifestyle Officer at Heart Research UK, said: “Teaching children why and how to be healthy at a young age is really important in establishing healthy lifestyles. This programme will get over 500 children pumped up and inspired to really become more active and healthier, leading them to have healthier futures. We can’t wait to see how much the children, and their families, will benefit.”