A FREE football-based weight loss programme is set to come to Maldon in the new year.

The MAN V FAT programme is aimed at men put off by traditional weight loss programmes to help them to make positive life changes and improve their mental and physical fitness.

The programme lasts for 12 weeks and will take place at the Plume Academy, Maldon at 8pm each Wednesday from January 12.

Each of the sessions will start with a weigh-in before four 30 minute, six-a-side games of football.

The footballers will score points for both the goals and the pounds they've lost.

MAN V FAT is being brought to the district by Maldon District Council, in partnership with Active Essex - who funded it through the Find Your Active fund - and the Plume Academy.

Richard Siddall, leader designate of Maldon District Council, said: “We’re delighted to bring this initiative to Maldon where the biggest losers win.

"This is a great community partnership that I hope will prove to be a life changing success for the men taking part, pointing them towards a healthy lifestyle."

The programme is aimed at men who have a BMI of 27.5 or over.

Dan Church, South East regional manager at MAN v FAT said: “MAN v FAT are helping break down barriers when it comes to male weight loss by opening new doors for men to lose weight, whilst being surrounded by like-minded individuals with shared goals that are scored both on and off the pitch.

"We look forward to kicking off in January to improve men’s health and wellbeing in the district and welcoming those men into our ever-growing weight loss community.”

Chris Barton, whole academy lead for marketing, media communications and community engagement at the Plume Academy, said: “Plume Academy is extremely pleased to be associated with this very exciting initiative.

"We see this project as an essential part of our continuing commitment to play a key role with long established partners, working for the good of everyone in the community.”

Players can sign up for the league at www.manvfatfootball.org/maldon.