Margate Man v Fat footballers shortlisted for Club of the Year award by Nationwide Programme 

Margate's Man v Fat footballers

A group of amateur footballers in Margate taking part in an FA-accredited national weight loss programme have been shortlisted for the ‘Club of the Year’ award at the MAN v FAT Football National Awards.

The Margate club, which meets on Monday evenings at Margate Football Club, Hartsdown Road, kicked off for the first time in February 2022. It currently has nearly 60 club members smashing their weight loss targets on a weekly basis across six teams. In the last 14 months, the players have lost a combined 1,450lbs, or 103 stones 8lbs between them. Two players have lost over 35% of their body weight; three have hit healthy BMI targets and countless others have reached their 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% targets.

MAN v FAT, an FA-affiliated scheme, currently has 8,500 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 535,000 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 six-a-side, 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 winner of the Club of the Year award – together with awards in a range of other categories – will be announced at an awards ceremony at the National Football Museum in Manchester on May 20.

Adam Ratcliffe, coach of the Margate MAN v FAT club, said: “Losing weight and keeping fit is hard work and we’re all about providing a friendly and supportive atmosphere for all players to get involved.

“We make our Monday night sessions a place players want to be and a consistent quality they can rely on. We frequently interact and mingle and there’s a real club atmosphere and identity. We’ve created a community. Six teams, one club. Healthy competition on the pitch and scales, coupled with friendships and positive encouragement ensures we’re an unstoppable force and something to make Margate proud.”

The commitment to keep supporting men in losing weight and becoming fitter, whilst making new friendships and massively improving their mental health, is stronger than ever.

Adam said: “I’d love to expand to eight teams, providing more space in the league for new players to get involved and start their journeys.

“We’ve created such a wonderful community at Margate, I’d love to get more people involved.”

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