Self proclaimed “fat lad” Philip Salisbury from Colwyn Bay is recruiting specifically for overweight and obese men in a bid to get them off their sofas and onto the pitch.
Every Wednesday night, Fat Lads Football meet at the stadium for a kick-a-round and they all have one thing in common – a desire to get fit.
The venture is the brain child of Mr Salisbury, 35, who was looking for a way to lose weight and improve his health without having to face going to the gym: “Signing up to the gym was quite intimidating for me and I guess I’m not the only one who feels this way.
“Seeing a bunch of fit people that know what they’re doing powering away, and I’m there wheezing on the slowest setting on the exercise bike.
“I would definitely consider myself a Fat Lad!
Phil Salisbury, who is pioneering the club in Colwyn Bay
“But from a personal perspective I’m hoping to lose some timber before my wedding, and hopefully a long-term change in lifestyle.”The bank worker is hoping the club will fill a gap in the market for those who want to play sport but lack confidence.
He hopes his own battle with his weight will be reassuring to potential new members: “I’ve been looking for something to get myself fit and healthy. I did enjoy playing football in High School.
“But I immediately wrote off joining a regular 5-a-side football team as I think it would be a bit too much for my fitness level as it is now and it can be a bit too competitive and intimidating.
“I imagine a lot of people are in the same situation.”
Where the over 50s are able to join a Walking Football league – with all running and most physical contact banned – there isn’t much available for younger people who aren’t confident in their athletic abilities.
This has given Mr Salisbury the push to bring the idea to the pitch: “I don’t think I’m quite old enough for Walking Football just yet, so i’ve tried to create a middle-ground.”
“I’ve started a similar thing in work (Chester), and wanted to bring it closer to home, and there’s the bonus that it’s more interesting than the gym.”
“Fat Lads Football is about getting folk off their couches for a game of football once a week. It’s essentially the level between Walking Football and proper 5-a-side. It’ll be a kickaround to get a sweat on, no proper tackling, no acting like it’s your FA Cup Final.
“The name, well it’s about getting people leading a healthier lifestyle, but without taking it too seriously. We can have a laugh.”
“Anyone can join, they don’t have to be fat or even a lad. Fat Lads Football just has a better ring than ‘Anyone Can Join Kickaround’.
“So far the reception has been very positive, lots of people have liked and tagged their friends in the group on Facebook. “Whether they’ll turn up on the night or if there were just tagged in as a laugh on Facebook, well we’ll see.”
The first Fat Lads Football session was on Wednesday April 24, 7pm – 8pm at The Barn, Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay.
Article from Walking Football United