Introduction to the league
The ESFL (Emergency Services Football League) brings together the emergency services of the UK in a competitive, flexible league – the only one of its kind in the UK.
All of these emergency services are renowned for having highly competitive teams and this exciting new competition will create regular, flexible fixtures for emergency services personnel – who are often unable to commit to regular leagues due to unsociable working patterns.
Aim of the league
The Emergency Services Football League strives to improve the health and wellbeing of those individuals serving in the UK’s emergency services. It is well documented that these professions, although rewarding, carry the burden of being highly stressful with significant risks associated with their undertaking.
The ESFL aims to alleviate the burden of such stress and provide a valuable outlet for those members wishing to play football. The league will comprise of representatives from the NHS, Police Forces, Fire Services and Prison Service within the United Kingdom – all of which are well known for having highly competitive sides. We hope to provide competitive and regular football fixtures for those who find themselves unable to commit to the regular affiliation leagues due to the often unsociable working patterns that these roles involve. The league will have an element of flexibility within its format to ensure that teams can feasibly fulfil their fixture commitments through the season.
The side topping the competition at its conclusion will be crowned the ESFL National Champions.
Sport and wellbeing
There is a clear correlation between high levels of physical activity and positive emotional wellbeing. Those achieving national guidelines for minimum standards of physical activity were 28% more likely to have very high levels of life satisfaction.
Emergency services employees that meet the same NHS minimum standards are more positive in mood, have more energy, are more engaged at work and have higher social functioning with fewer coping strategies.
A wealth of research highlights the positive effect that physical and mental wellbeing has in reducing employee sickness absence. 29% of police officers that had taken sickness related absence from work, had done so because of stress, depression or anxiety.
Employees that have higher levels of emotional wellbeing are more likely to stay in work, are more productive, more energised and confident, and may potential inspire others, subsequently increasing workplace morale.
Participation in competitive sport increases both organisational and social cohesion and promotes a team-building ethic that is paramount across the roles of emergency service workers.