A new football league which aims to help men tackle obesity has kicked off in Warrington at Orford’s Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub.
Taking place every Tuesday night outdoor team sport is not currently affected by the rule of six, or any national or local Covid restrictions as long as the facilities adhere to COVID-secure guidance.
In nearby Wigan, where 41 players take part in the league, the combined total weight loss has been as high as 700 pounds – or 50 stone a season and some players have been known to drop as much as 70 pounds during a 14-week league.
The FA-endorsed scheme was created by Andrew Shanahan, who fed-up with traditional weight loss classes primarily aimed at women, decided to develop a programme that combines the beautiful game with achievable weight loss goals for men.
Before matches, the players are weighed, which is followed by a 30-minute game of six-a-side, with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost.
Public Health England data covering the time between April 2019 and March 2020 found that 62% of adults in England are overweight or obese, with four of the top 20 areas where rates are the highest being within the North West region – with four of the top 20 areas where rates are the highest in the North West, they are Knowsley (73.7%), Halton (70.6%), Wigan (70.5%) and Tameside (70.5%).
Furthermore, a study by University of North Carolina (UNC), Saudi Health Council and World Bank published in August found that people with obesity are at a greater risk of hospitalisation (113%), admission to intensive care (74%) and death (48%) from COVID-19:
MAN v FAT’s Head of Football, Richard Crick explains, “We’re really excited to be launching another league in the North West and encourage anyone from in and around Warrington, who feels that the programme might be right for them to head to our website and sign up for the league.
“We still have places remaining ahead of our ‘pre-season’ session on Tuesday, so come down, meet your new teammates and have a kick about – we’ll be with you every step of the way.”
Players can join up at www.manvfat.com/football and they can get more information by calling 0345 163 1042 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org