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Kickstart the battle against fat - Football league aimed at helping men lose weight resumes

PUBLISHED: 14:49 15 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:49 15 August 2020

The first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan Church

The first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan Church

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A football league helping men to lose weight through the beautiful game has resumed after five months.

The first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan ChurchThe first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan Church

Man v Fat Football launched in Norwich in 2018 and sees teams play matches over a 14-week period, but has been shut since lockdown.

In its first two seasons players have managed to lose 906 kg through playing matches and dietary and lifestyle advice.

Across its 80 leagues which are open to men with a body mass index of 27.5 or more has seen players lose more than 269,000lbs, or 300,000 footballs during their 14-week season.

The games are up to 7-a-side and played over 30 minutes.

The first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan ChurchThe first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan Church

Dan Church, from Norwich, lost 140lbs with Man V Fat after previously weighing 25 stone.

The father-of-three is now regional manager for the programme which welcomed back 46 players back on Friday.

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He said:“I had tried to lose weight before but with Man v Fat, it’s a real lifestyle change and I’m so much more motivated.

Dan Church, from Norwich,  lost 10 stone through Man V Fat Football. Picture: Dan ChurchDan Church, from Norwich, lost 10 stone through Man V Fat Football. Picture: Dan Church

“I was always embarrassed by slimming groups aimed at women, but there’s nothing awkward about Man v Fat Football as you’re with likeminded men.”

The 32-year-old now plays 11-a-side every week and said the league also helped him with his mental health.

Mr Church said: “It is a massive change. Now after losing weight I look and feel like a completely different person. Lockdown has been a struggle for many, including myself, but now is the perfect chance to kickstart your battle against fat.

“Accountability is one of the main parts of being part of the team, your supporting each other and help each other through.”

The league has introduced a range of social distancing measures including postponing the weekly weighs in that occur before matches and asking teams to arrive for an allocated time.

Man v Fat director, Tim Roberts said: “It’s fantastic to be a part of the government’s new campaign and we’re looking forward to supporting men who want to improve their health, whether they’ve been meaning to lose weight for a while or whether lockdown has been an unhealthy time for them.

“We’ve seen amazing results from the men who have taken part in Man v Fat Football to date, and with the reopening of sports venues in England we’re excited to get going again.”

For more information visit www.manvfat.com/better-health


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