07 February

Fit Rovers case study: John Paul Watters

Saturdays at football are electric. Hearty fans and raw emotion during a game that for most, is much more than 90 minutes every weekend.  From the moment you enter the turnstiles at the Keepmoat Stadium and join the herd through the concourse, you feel a part of something special.

That same feeling continues throughout the week at Doncaster Rovers and that same space vibrates with noise on a Thursday night, too. But instead of the hustle and bustle of buying a half time pie, it’s filled with Fit Rovers graduates throwing weights around to their favourite music.

John Paul Watters is one of the 50 men who turn up on a Thursday, donning their Fit Rovers tee with pride and using that two hours a week to change their lifestyles for the better.

“I knew I had to do something to lose weight. It hit home when I reached 50. 50 was the age my father died; I knew I had to make a change to my lifestyle.” He said.

“Fit Rovers was the perfect opportunity, it kept me driven, gave me a plan of action and gave me a whole new enthusiasm for life.”

John Paul lost nearly a stone during the 8-week course, and enjoyed the sessions so much so that he has continued his journey at the Keepmoat Stadium through the weekly Fit Rovers Veteran sessions.

“I said to myself, at the end of the 8 weeks, I will have lost 2 inch from my waist, I’ll be below 19 stone and I’ll cycle 100 miles in one go. I’ve achieved all three of those targets and so much more. In fact Fit Rovers is the very reason I’ve got back into panto." He continued.

“I did panto 18 years ago and fell out of it because I told myself I couldn’t do it, I didn’t have time for things like that.

“Then a few months ago, I saw they needed someone to fill in as the Dame, a part I always wanted to try, and I just had a surge to get up off my bum and do something I loved again.

“Fit Rovers was the driving force behind that. If I hadn’t achieved what I did on the course, I wouldn’t have signed myself up, I wouldn’t have had the motivation.

 “It’s a big tick off the bucket list, I had great fun and now feel a whole new enthusiasm for life.”

Fit Rovers is much more than weight loss, it’s a programme designed to improve the physical and mental wellness of participants through tailored exercise sessions and workshops.

Throughout the 8-weeks, men will receive a personal training experience, dietary guidance, Doncaster Rovers player visits and unique experiences, such as friendly games at the Keepmoat Stadium, all for free. 

John Paul continued: “My next goal is to get on an aeroplane. I’m ex military so I have been on a plane before but only under orders; it was never by choice.

 “That goal is nothing to do with weight loss, but it’s a goal and something I’ve set myself and I know I’ll continue to achieve under the wing of the Fit Rovers programme.”

For more information about the Fit Rovers programme or how to get involved, contact fitrovers@clubdoncasterfoundation.co.uk / 01302 764663.




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