Argyle Fit football league is open goal for men in Cornwall looking to lose weight

Cornwall Council has teamed up with Plymouth Argyle to create a free 7-a-side football league aimed at helping men lose weight.

Argyle Fit sees blokes with a BMI of 28 and above get together for a brief weight loss support session followed by a kick-about once a week for 12 weeks.

The league has a unique weekly twist too as every pound a player loses counts as an extra goal for his team at the end of the session.

So even if a team loses on the day, its players’ combined weight loss that week might mean they snatch victory.

It is also a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and boost mental health.

The Council’s Healthy Cornwall team provides the weight loss support while The Argyle Community Trust Team arranges and oversees the football league.

It is free to join and the next series of courses start on Monday 4 April, and currently there are sessions being held in the following areas, :

  • Camborne – Cornwall College Tuesday 8pm – 9.30pm
  • Penzance – Mounts Bay Academy Friday 6.30pm – 8pm
  • St Austell – Brannell School Thursday 6.30pm – 8pm
  • Bodmin – Dragon Centre Tuesday 7.30pm – 9pm
  • Launceston College Monday 7.30pm – 9pm

The sessions first started in September last year and have been running through the pandemic with around 150 men signed up already but plenty of room for more. 

Craig Manclark, Healthy Cornwall’s Locality Team Lead who spearheaded Argyle Fit, said:  

“What better way to lose weight than meet up with a bunch of like-minded blokes for a chat and a kick-about. Not only is it great for shedding those excess pounds but it is also a great way to make new friends and give your mental health a boost.  

“If you think your search for the ideal way to lose weight is over, it is now!” 

Pirate FM radio presenter Neil Caddy is one of the many men who have been taking advantage Argyle Fit sessions. He said:  

“How else could you get a load of blokes to not only acknowledge that they are overweight, but also get them to commit to attending a weekly event to talk about it and actually do something about it? With football of course!  

“Getting active, losing weight and having fun whilst doing it – it ticked all the boxes for me so I signed-up as soon as I could after seeing a friend’s Facebook post.  

“I am not the biggest chap there, nor am I the smallest. And I’m certainly not the best footballer but a love of football has got a group of people together with shared aims and ambitions…and with a lot of laughs and encouragement along the way. 

“Well done Healthy Cornwall and Plymouth Argyle.” 

Gary Stevens, Argyle FIT Co-ordinator and Community Coach in West Cornwall, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, said:  

“Argyle FIT is much more than a programme for weight loss and playing football. These are clearly the main aims, but also creates opportunities to socialise again with people from different backgrounds. After the way the last couple years have been for everyone, it is refreshing for to see everyone talking and encouraging people they have just met to keep moving and praising their efforts. 

“Argyle FIT has helped give players the opportunity to not just decrease their weight, but also increase their social circles and self-confidence.”  

Matt Coates, East and North Cornwall Schools & Participation Coach with Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, said:  

“I am so pleased how well Bodmin Argyle FIT has taken off with more interest being shown daily.  

“We have a fantastic group with over 60 men who are taking on our weight loss challenge and all are showing 100% commitment to the course. This is completely free so if this interests you please do get in touch.” 

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said:  

“This is a great scheme and an open goal for men out there looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle this year. I would urge as many as possible to sign up and take advantage of free training from a top football club. There’s nothing to lose apart from that unwanted weight!” 

Argyle Fit is available to men over 18 with a BMI of 28 and above. No football experience is required. You can sign up online through Plymouth Argyle Community Trust website.

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