THE POPULAR MAN v FAT Football scheme, which launched in Solihull in January last year, is returning for a new free league at Lode Heath School, starting on January 31.
Last year’s inaugural league saw 95 per cent of participants losing weight – some losing up to 70lbs during its 14-week duration.
And its success was so evident, the league, supported by Solihull Council, has now been endorsed by the Football Association.
MAN v FAT was set up by Andrew Shanahan (pictured) who himself lost five stone and was fed-up with weight loss classes just for women.
The leagues are different from the traditional football leagues, which many overweight men find off-putting, because the weigh-in before each game contributes to the league position just as much as the score on the pitch.
Andrew Shanahan, Managing Director of www.manvfat.com said, “We’ve seen in Solihull already that MAN v FAT Football can have an incredible impact on the health of our players with 95 per cent of players losing weight and 93 per cent reporting health improvements from curing sleep apnoea to huge improvements in blood pressure and joint pain.
“Across 2016 our players lost more than seven tonnes in weight and we know that we’re going to smash that in 2017 with leagues like the one in Lode Heath.”
As well as national press coverage and appearances on Sky Sports and BBC’s The One Show, last year also saw MAN v FAT Football receive the ultimate accolade – the first official endorsement that the Football Association have ever given to a weight loss company.
Andy Dyke, National Participation Manager of Recreational Football at the Football Association said: “Football doesn’t begin and end with the professional game, there are different levels and styles of football played throughout the UK.
“MAN v FAT Football is a brilliant initiative for anyone who wants to address their weight and start working their way back into playing football.
“The results of the leagues are extremely impressive and we are excited to see the impact this could have on men’s health across the country and around the world.
“You might be thinking that your footballing days are behind you, but MAN v FAT Football is a great bridge back into the national game.
“The FA are happy to back the scheme and suggest that players visit www.manvfat.com/football to get started.”
Currently, there are over 20 million overweight and obese men in the UK, accounting for nearly seven out of every ten men.
Chris Fenton, joined MAN v FAT Football in January last year and has now dropped over 5 stone.
He said: “MAN V FAT gave me a kick up the behind and made me realise how bad my health was.
“I was then put into a group of lads who all had the same goals to play football and to lose weight.
“It gives me a focus and a desire to lose weight and as the weeks go on I feel better about myself.
“I have more energy and for the first time I’m able to play with my kids without getting tired. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity and would recommend it to any man.”
MAN v FAT Football launches at Lode Heath School from the 31st January 31 and runs every Tuesday from 7.30 to 9.30pm for the next 14 weeks.
It is completely free for Solihull residents and workers to register and the cost of games is also covered by Solihull Council.
The only thing you have to lose in joining up is weight.
Players can join up at www.manvfat.com/football and they can get more information by calling 0845 163 0042 or emailing [email protected].