Yeovil are fundraising table toppers!

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MAN v FAT Yeovil members topped a national fundraising league table for the Diabetes UK’s Million Steps Challenge

The guys, under the able command of coach Kev Ayling, came out on top for raising the most money for the Diabetes UK Million Steps Challenge.

The MAN v FAT team organised several fundraising events, from a coffee morning to car boot sales to the aim of walking a marathon from Steart to Minehead along the South West Somerset coastal path.

“We completed this on what happened to be the hottest day of the year,” explains member and fundraising organiser Aaron Knight. “It was tiring and extremely hot but the feeling at the end is one none of us will ever forget.

“Fifteen of us took part, with nine of us completing the whole marathon and the remaining six completing the majority. A couple guys had to sit out the harder sections due to the heat and some minor injuries, but we made sure to complete the last four miles together and cross the finish line as a team.”

After setting out with an initial target to raise £4000, the MAN v FAT Yeovil players have now surpassed £6,000, putting them at the top of the event’s fundraising leaderboard.

“Diabetes UK is a charity close to many of our hearts, and being a weight loss league it ties in very well with the journey we are all on,” explains Aaron.

“We took part in the steps challenge as teams, and my own personal team managed to do over 10 million steps between the eight of us. The three months of fundraising have been amazing and something I have thoroughly enjoyed organising and being a part of. It’s a little sad it has come to an end so we are looking at what more we can do early in 2024 to carry on our efforts, with some smaller fundraising between now and then!”

Kevin Ayling, coach of the Yeovil and Weymouth MAN v FAT clubs, echoes Aaron’s sentiments: “As a weight loss football club, we are conscious of our sugar and calorie intake. We have reversed type two diabetes with several of our men but mainly we did it because of our ball boy Jaden Best.

“This little lad has been diabetic for as long as I can remember, always carrying around his backpack and now his mobile device continuously checking his levels, being conscious of how many biscuits he eats, how many times he runs around the pitch and always listening out for his alarm. He is a proper trooper who turns up week in week out. It was our turn to do something for him.”

And, as Kevin testifies, it wasn’t an easy challenge.

“Walking 26 miles with lads with a BMI of 30-40 for 12 hours on the hottest day of the year was one of the toughest challenges and I’m incredibly proud of the lads. But it also hospitalised me for seven days with dehydration and diverticulitis. But we’re already gearing up for the next challenge.”

MAN v FAT Football is an FA-accredited weight loss programme for men. It currently has 8,000 players taking part in nearly 160 leagues across the UK. The programme 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.

The total amount of weight lost by MAN v FAT players in the UK currently stands at more than 550,000 pounds. It is aimed at men with a BMI of higher than 27.5.

Before matches, the players are weighed, which is followed by a 30-minute game of small sided football, with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost. Players receive additional support including healthy meal recipe ideas and tips on general fitness.

The Yeovil club meets on Friday evenings at Buckler’s Mead Leisure Centre on St John’s Road.

More information can be found at


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