A NEW football league which aims to help men tackle obesity kicked off in Newport last week, and other local men have been encouraged to sign up.

So far, 57 players have signed up to take part in the Man v Fat league, the second of its kind in South Wales after Cardiff, which has been running since 2017.

The league takes place on Friday evenings from 7pm at Gol Football Centre on Nash Road.


Before matches, players are weighed, 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.

Around 80 players in the Cardiff league have lost around 95 stone per season between them.

Lee Squelch, 40, plays in the Cardiff league, and said that has encouraged him to make changes to his diet, resulting in him losing five and a half stone.

“Taking part in Man v Fat Football has made losing weight fun,” he said. “The competitive element of my personality meant I wanted to do all I could to help my team. The amount of time I have opened the fridge to snack and closed the door empty-handed because the weekly weigh-in sprung to mind was enormous.

“The camaraderie and wealth of knowledge and ideas is huge and helped me so much. If you are thinking about joining the biggest thing to get across is that you don’t need to be any good or have any experience of playing football.

“In all the matches I have played I have never heard a single player criticised for their on-field performance. If anything, I found being terrible at football was a massive help, it gave me the motivation to make sure I tracked my food and lost weight so my efforts on the pitch didn’t matter.”

Data from the Welsh Government published in July 2020 reported that 61 per cent of adults in Wales are overweight or obese, and just 53 per cent of adults had reported that they had been active for at least 150 minutes in the previous week. And a third of adults in Wales were classed as inactive (or active for less than 30 minutes the previous week).

“We’re really excited to have launched another league in south Wales and encourage anyone from in and around Newport, who feels that the programme might be right for them to head to our website and sign up for the league," said Man v Fat’s head of football Richard Crick.

“We still have places remaining so come down, meet your new teammates and have a kick about – we’ll be with you every step of the way.”

The league is specifically aimed at men with a BMI of 27.50 or over. To find out more, or to join up, visit manvfat.com/football, call 0345 1631042 or email football@manvfat.com