We thought you might like to hear it from us first – The FA (no, not the FAT you big lollywaggins) have officially endorsed MAN v FAT Football. As you might imagine this is BIG NEWS and follows a lot of investigation from The FA to make sure that what we’re up to is officially good for men – turns out we are.
It’s great for the leagues because it means that we can work with The FA to bring the leagues around the country. We’re already working with several regional FAs to get the leagues across the UK and beyond (find the league nearest you now). It’s also the start of a working relationship which will see The FA supporting our aims in a number of different ways. Finally, it’s great news because we got to go to Wembley and run around the stands like we were important, at least until security asked us to leave.
Here’s the official press release:
MAN v FAT Football is a new football league concept that helps players to lose weight as well as get back into football. With over 95% of players on the leagues across the country losing weight, The FA have added their approval to a growing list of players who say the leagues have saved their lives.
MAN v FAT was created by Andrew Shanahan in 2014 when he tried to lose weight but found that all of the commercially-available options were focused exclusively on supporting women to lose weight. Wondering why no support existed to help men like himself he launched www.manvfat.com which now helps more than half a million men per year to lose weight and get healthier. Their latest innovation is MAN v FAT Football – a six-a-side football league format that helps men to lose weight and get back into football.
“MAN v FAT Football is a scheme that we started in January 2016 to see if there was any interest from other men,” explains Shanahan. “We had 80 places on the initial league and nearly 1,000 men applied to join. Since then we’ve seen a growing desire from men around the country who want to get back into football and address their weight, fitness and health issues. 10 months on and we now have nearly 80 leagues either running or preparing to launch and the leagues have helped men lose over five tonnes in weight. We’re thrilled to get the support of The FA which will be a massive help in developing the concept.”
Andy Dyke, National Participation Manager For 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. At The FA we’re passionate about supporting all of those types of football that reach out to different people and seeing them flourish and achieve their aims. MAN v FAT Football is a brilliant initiative for anyone who wants to address their weight and health 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.”
Currently, there are over 20 million overweight and obese men in the UK, accounting for nearly 7 out of every 10 men. The issue of weight has become such a concern that a recent report suggested that the government should treat it as the number one public health concern. Despite this, funding has been cut to local authorities and men are nearly 300% less likely to get support for their weight than women. Despite this MAN v FAT Football is one of the only options for men who want to lose weight. Fortunately, with a number of leagues across the UK, men who want to lose weight and get back into football now have an opportunity to do something about it.
Chris Fenton, joined MAN v FAT Football in January and has now dropped over 5 stone, “MAN v FAT Football 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 and 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.”
Dyke has some simple advice for players who are thinking about joining in and getting back into football: “There’s really nothing to lose in signing up and giving it a go. 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 endorse the scheme and recommend that players visit www.manvfat.com/football to get started.”
What do you think? Is it time you gave MAN v FAT Football a go? The only thing you have to lose is fat, even The FA says so.