Bath Rugby legends David Flatman and Duncan Bell are going head-to-head in a game of touch rugby on the outfield at the Rec this evening.
The event is taking place as part of Bath Rugby Foundation’s men’s health programme, Move like a Pro. The programme, now six weeks in, sees local men who want to improve their health and wellbeing taking to the rugby field and learning how to improve their diet and lifestyle and to speak up about mental health issues.
Duncan Bell is ambassador of the national Move like a Pro programme funded by Premiership Rugby and the Movember Foundation. He forged a successful rugby career as a front row forward, playing for Bath for nine years and gaining five caps for England. In 2012, as he approached retirement from the game, he made the bold decision to speak up for the first time to his team mates and the rugby community at large about the depression and anxiety that had tainted his life for over a decade.
Duncan Bell, ex-Bath Rugby and England prop, said: “Since speaking out about my illness in 2012, I’ve made it my mission to raise awareness of mental health in Rugby and the wider sporting community. Move like a Pro is such a fantastic programme. Since the launch six weeks ago I’ve seen a massive difference in both the weight and the attitude of the participants and that’s brilliant to see. I’ve even shifted a few pounds myself! I get a lot out of coming along and coaching the guys – they’re a brilliant bunch – and of course, Team Bell is going to be victorious! So watch out Flats.”
Monday’s match marks the half way point in the 12-week course. The participants have been developing their rugby skills as well as looking at topics designed to improve their health such as sugar content in food, portion sizes and exercise programmes that you can do anywhere, including the comfort of your own home.
Paul Lodge, participant on the Move like a Pro programme, said: “Like a lot of overweight and unfit people, I suffer with snoring. As a result, I am undertaking a sleep study with the respiratory clinic. At my recent check-up I was pleased to see that since starting the programme both the duration and intensity of my snoring has decreased significantly. When we speak about fitness, diet and mental health, the programme is working for me. I have lost weight, I am eating better food, being more active and the big thing for me, my wife and I are both sleeping better. This is potentially a life-changing programme for me.”
Gareth Williams, participant on the Move like a Pro programme, said: “I've lost half a stone and Bath Rugby Foundation can take credit for that. Without starting the training I wouldn't have bothered with losing weight. It has changed the way I think about food. What goes in, must be burnt off. I love the fact that I can tell my boys that I've been to rugby training and feel as though I'm making progress. What I need to remember is that I can’t do what I used to be able to ...yet!”
The programme will be relaunching with a second cohort of men in six weeks' time. To sign up, visit www.movelikeapro.co.uk.