This week’s listening practice report spotlights a new league in England aimed at helping overweight men lose weight, which is part of an initiative called Man v Fat. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above, and you can also read the transcript of the report (below). There are also explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) at the end of the post.
Listening Practice: Man v Fat
Football has always played an important role in improving society: there’s the Homeless World Cup and programmes like the one that founded a youth league in the poorest areas of Nairobi, MYSA. The latest in these community projects is the Man v Fat football league in England. Man v Fat was an idea by Andrew Shanahan, and its goal is to help overweight men shed the pounds. The idea behind the Man v Fat league is simple. If you have a body mass index, or BMI, over 30, you can join the league. Your team gets points for wins but also for how much weight the team members lose.
Players in the league hope to show fat the red card while doing something they love. Instead of being an armchair fan, overweight men are invited to get off their backsides and become fitter. Games last 30 minutes, two 13-minute halves and a 4-minute break, which allows the men to ease their way back into active sports. As well as bonding with others in the same boat, participants get advice on healthier lifestyle options.
Before and after the game each player is weighed and the team with the biggest combined weight loss gets extra points. This means that all can feel they are contributing to the team. Involving men in this league seems to take advantage of many men’s competitiveness and love for football. The founder says, “When I was fat I went to Weight Watchers, but it didn’t feel like it was angled towards men.” Combining football with fitness is certainly one way to fight an expanding waistline.
initiative: plan, proposal
coat of arms: An ancient symbol representing a town or family
shed the pounds: lose weight
show fat the red card: stop weight gain
armchair fan: a fan who only watches football (sport) but doesn’t play the game
get off (their) backside: do something; be active; be proactive
in the same boat: the same situation
expanding waistline: increasing weight
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