In January 2014, Shaun Ferguson decided enough was enough, and that he needed to change his whole lifestyle.
- Postman Shaun Ferguson has lost nearly eight stone in two years
- Swindon Town Community Trust’s FFIT programme has helped Shaun learn about exercise, nutrition and completely changed his lifestyle
- Shaun says after getting married, it is the most amazing thing he has done in his life
- In two years, Swindon Town have helped 120 men between the age of 35 and 65 lose nearly 1000kgs (155 stone)
The 12-week healthy living programme has been designed to give adults, aged 35 to 65, the right tools to live a healthier lifestyle. FFIT was started by the Scottish FA, but now five English teams are running the programme.
Shaun, now aged 50, was 22 and a half stone when the programme started and, two years down the line, he is now 15 stone. He is now completing a 10k run every Sunday!
Image: Shaun Ferguson in training
“The fact that the team I support, Swindon Town, were running this programme, was so clever and gave me the motivation to join,” said Shaun.
“If you are a football supporter, this ideal. It is a group programme, there is a collective mentality and not just you doing it, the whole group bond just like a football team.
“Every football team in England should do this. The FFIT programme has completely changed my life, I have lost seven and a half stone in two years and I go running every week, I have never done that in my life.”
The FFIT programme has been developed to include the latest scientific approaches to weight loss, physical activity and diet. The EFL Trust has given FFIT their full support and encourages clubs to deliver the programme.
Shaun continued: “We have started our own running group in Swindon. We have people that have completed this programme planning on running marathons in 2017.
“Every weekend we play football and this programme makes sure you become active. We are not only reminded how important exercise is, we are now educated how to maintain a healthy diet.
“The real eye opener for me was the portion sizes, what you were supposed to eat compared to what you are eating. It is quite scary.
“I can now tie my shoe laces bending over without being out of breath. The little things that you take for granted.
“Obesity is a real problem and it is a hard thing to get out of. For a football fan especially, a great way to lose weight is joining a programme such as Football Fans In Training.
“These types of programmes keep you motivated because obesity is a rut. I have been there and I know that. It is horrible for people that are in that position at the moment and it is so easy to fall back into it.
“It is a major problem at the moment and raising awareness of obesity is important. People are not as active any more as they used to be.”
Image: Shaun Ferguson (front row, centre right)in his Swindon Town kit
The EFL Trust work closely and give all 72 member clubs on a range of health and lifestyle programmes.