Solihull men invited to battle the festive bulge in football league - The Solihull Observer

Solihull men invited to battle the festive bulge in football league

Solihull Editorial 7th Jan, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016   0

SOLIHULL men who may have had one pig-in-blanket too many over the festive period are being invited to a free football league to help them lose weight this January.

Man V Fat Football is a 14-week league which will be offered to men with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more and will help men of any fitness level – including non-players – the chance to get fitter for the new year.

The league is decided not only on points won on the pitch, but pounds lots off the pitch.

Andrew Shanahan, managing director of Man V Fat, said he was inspired to set up the initiative after dropping more than 70lbs himself and discovering how little help was available to men who wanted to lose weight.

He added: “As a former journalist I used to do a lot of food criticism and before long I realised I was morbidly obese.

“I knew I had to do something about it, as I didn’t want to be a fat dad, but when I started on my journey to lose weight I realised how little support was available to men.”

As well as free football, every player will receive free resources, inspiration and 24/7 support to help them lose weight and get fitter via

Mr Shanahan explained: “When you’re losing weight, you want to know that other people are with you on the journey.

“It’s not fun to be the odd one out – or the fat one out – on the team, but the guys who join the league are all in it together.

“Man V Fat encompasses support, camaraderie and football and helps men not only lose weight, but also connect with others for who the course has worked.”

The league was commissioned by Solihull Council in a big to get the borough’s men feeling fit and healthy in the new year.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Coun Ken Meeson, welcomed the initiative – arguing it provides a ‘fun approach’ to what is an increasing problem for Solihull men.

He added: “It is all too easy to put on the pounds but historically men have been less inclined than women to use traditional weight loss services, so we hope that Man v Fat will appeal to those who are concerned about their weight.

“Carrying too much weight can lead to serious health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, as well as depression due to low self-esteem about body image and possible relationship difficulties,” he said.

“Here is a real opportunity for men to reduce these risks and concerns about obesity and for those who register to make real and lasting improvements to their quality of life.”

The league starts next Monday, January 11, and then continues every Monday between 8pm and 10pm, on the all-weather football pitches at Fox Hollies Leisure Centre in Acocks Green.

There are still a few spaces on the free course online at

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