Ukranian Yurii loses weight but gains friends

May 6, 2024

FFIT is not just “Football Fans in Training” but “Football Friends in training”

When Yurii Shein’s family were re-located to Peterhead from Ukraine two years ago and he joined them in December 2023, they found integrating into the local community challenging. It had been a turbulent time having to leave their homeland in such difficult circumstances and although they did have a basic grasp of English, learning the local Doric dialect was not easy and they initially struggled to make friends and socialise. Having seen an advert for FFIT on Facebook and being someone that had always kept themselves fairly fit and played football, Yurii was keen to give it a go. Coming along to the first session was daunting but Natty Porter and Steven Chalmers who run the programme made him feel instantly welcome and at ease and he says that he loved coming along to Balmoor every week to catch up with all his new fitness friends, from Yurii:

“Although I have always played and loved football, I learnt so much more about nutrition and lifestyle changes that can affect the way that you feel. Coming along each week got me out and about and it was great to integrate with others and feel part of a community again. It has been such a difficult two years for us that it was something positive to focus on getting together with like-minded people who all wanted to live a healthier life”.

The Peterhead FC Foundation were delighted to invite Yurii along to Balmoor for the last league game of the season so that our Club Chaplian Neil Cameron could present him with a PFC strip to show our friendship and solidarity as we know that we have found new PFC fans in Yurii and his family.

Football Fans in Training (FFIT) is a free weight loss program run in association with the SPFL Trust as a way of incentivising overweight men and womern to attend weight management groups by giving them behind-the-scenes access to Peterhead football club.

FFIT is delivered by our community coaches Nat Porter and Stephen Chalmers to men and women aged 35-65 who are obese, or at high risk of becoming obese. They attend 12 weekly sessions at Balmoor Stadium to learn useful skills and techniques to help them improve their levels of physical activity and diet. Each meeting involves time in the classroom and also a training session with the coaches. Once the 12 sessions end, each participant receives regular reminder emails and attend a reunion session at the club 9 months after they began FFIT.

Peterhead FC Community Coach Nat porter stated “FFIT enables the participants to make positive changes to their health and the football club is a great setting for weight management and other health initiatives.

Participants really enjoyed being with others like them, with a shared interest in football and similar health issues to address. They loved having the opportunity to spend time at the club, using parts of the stadium they couldn’t ordinarily access. And doing that journey together has demonstrated real impactful results in significant weight loss and to help keep it off long-term.”

If you’d like to take part in the next FFIT programme, contact Nat Porter or email or via the Peterhead FC Community Foundation website  or the SPFL Trust on SPFL Trust | Football Fans in Training