ARGYLE Community Trust are helping fans to tackle their weight, get healthier and be happier by joining FIT FANS, a FREE 12-week programme that is delivered at Home Park.
The Trust’s first four cohorts of Fit Fans, a 12-week course in which participants receive nutrition, wellbeing and health advice alongside a fitness programme, has yielded great results. Over 425kg have been lost amongst the 88 members who have completed the course, with total reduction of over 550cm in waist circumference.
Launched in January 2020 at 30 Clubs in England, the EFL Trust’s FIT FANS programme is supported by over £2.25 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England and will aim to use the magnetism of football to tackle obesity levels in over 10,000 fans across the UK.
The programme shows individuals how to:
- Improve their eating habits by reducing portion sizes and swapping fatty and sugary foods for fruit, vegetables and high fibre foods.
- Achieve at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. Participants receive weekly exercise sessions at the football stadium for 12 weeks and follow a personal pedometer-based walking programme that encourages them to fit physical activity into their daily lives.
- Use tried-and-tested behaviour change techniques to become more active and improve their diet. These include regular self-monitoring of their weight, pedometer step counts and setting SMART goals to make changes that can be sustained long term.
The 12-week programme gives fans unprecedented access to their club and a look behind the scenes, with Conor Grant attending sessions and being an ambassador for the programme as well as the first team’s head of strength and conditioning, John Lucas, helping to deliver some sessions.
One participant, Adrian Brewer, lost a whopping 30kg across the 12-week programme, now weighing 113.1kg, down from a starting weight of 143.5kg. He said: “The programme has helped me to reach a number of goals. I am so much fitter and can even do 20-plus mile bike rides. Whilst the programme was not as such a competition, I have treated it as such as that is my own method of motivating myself. Having other members around and plenty of people to support you has also been great, and I have met many people who will remain friends after the event.”
As well as excellent weight loss results 96% of group members reported feeling more satisfied with life following the completion of the programme, while 89% reported being happier in general. Seven in 10 group participants also reported feeling less anxious.
Starting on September 8th and 9th the Trust will be delivering male and female programmes with the male programme taking place on Wednesdays 6.30pm – 8pm and female programme taking place on Thursdays 6.30pm – 8pm. In order to qualify to take part, participants must be aged between 35-65, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or above, and a waist measurement of over 37 inches (male) or 31 inches (female).