A club that encourages overweight men to get fit and adopt healthy lifestyle choices is coming to Bury next month.

The club, MAN v FAT Football, will start on Tuesday, April 2 with free places available for men looking to lose weight thanks to a partnership with the council.

Across the last 12 months, the club has helped 450 men lose more than a tonne (2,200lbs) of excess weight at seven clubs in Greater Manchester, including Bolton, Salford, Stockport and Wigan.

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The new Bury club will run at Radcliffe FC’s Neuven Stadium on Tuesday evenings from 7pm.

Anyone can join however those from eligible postcodes could benefit from a free 14-week season with the programme, funded by the council.

According to Public Health England data published in April 2023, 64 per cent of adults in Bury are overweight or obese.

Recent research from the National Food Strategy review estimates that every unit of body mass index put on by every individual raises the UK’s annual healthcare costs by £16.

Created for men with a body mass index of above 27.5, MAN v FAT Football has more than 8,000 players taking part in excess of 150 clubs across the UK and the total amount of weight lost by UK players stands at more than 630,000lbs.

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At the start of a session, players are weighed to assess weight loss progress across a week.

Thirty minute games of six-a-side football then take place with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on their weight loss.

A team’s combined weight loss and match scores then contribute to its league position within a club.

MAN v FAT Football’s regional manager in the North West, Stu Normansell, said: “The weight lost by men at our Greater Manchester clubs is testament to the sheer hard work and determination shown by the players taking part and our incredible coaching team, who lead the programme in the region.

“While the main aim of the programme is to help men lose weight, MAN v FAT is about so much more than that.

"Lifelong friendships are formed at our clubs and thousands of players across the UK have benefited from an improvement in their mental wellbeing, as well as their physical health.

“The programme is perfect for men who want to get back into playing football but might initially feel nervous about doing so due to their fitness levels.

“We encourage non-judgmental behaviour, body positivity and losing weight at a healthy, sustainable pace.

“We are delighted to be able to offer free 14-week seasons at our new Bury club, thanks to funding from Bury Council, which will be funding places for new players from certain postcode areas.”

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Cllr Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for adult care, health and wellbeing, added: “I’m hopeful this will contribute to our key objective around reducing health inequalities and empowering more people to start to live a healthy lifestyle, leading to better health outcomes and reducing demand on our health services.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to take part.”

To sign up ahead of the launch, click here.