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One million steps a month for fit fan

Thursday 7 March 2019

A RUGBY fan from Salford has lost over three stone in weight in just a few months thanks to a new fitness app designed for sports fans. And now he’s planning to tackle the London marathon.

Fan Fit, is a project from the University of Salford which allows apps to be created for organisations such as sports clubs. The app contains club information, social media and records walking and running to allow fans to create a friendly competition and win prizes. Salford Red Devils Rugby League club were the first to sign up to be partners for the app and their fans have been competing with each other for the past few months, with amazing results. 

Red Devils super fan Russell Chesters won himself a season ticket in the December competition after achieving nearly one million steps and losing weight as a result.

Russell said: “I was trying to get fitter anyway then I heard about the app. It has really helped with getting me motivated. I’ve lost close to three stone since I signed up and I did just short of a million steps in a month. I’m really competitive so it has really helped me to get motivated, the competition element really helps me. 

“Every fan should have it. I’m doing the London marathon later this year and this app is helping me get ready for it.”

And fan Dean Midgely won the January competition after losing half a stone. He said: “I wanted to get fit, I’m very competitive, I just thought lets go for it. It’s really worked for me.”

In total since the app launched over 600 fans have downloaded it and signed up and have done around 200 million steps in total. The North West as a whole recently came near the bottom of league tables for health and fitness, with rates of heart disease and stroke among the highest in the country. Sports clubs in the region believe they could be doing more to combat this, as a duty of care to their fans and Fan Fit could play a huge part of that.

Dr Alex Fenton, project lead of Fan Fit, from the University of Salford Business School, said: “It’s been received really well by Red Devils fans so far and it makes me really proud that a university project has made a difference to peoples lives in this way, hearing all these stories just makes it all worthwhile. We will learn from this and keep improving the app to make it even more engaging and getting fans to think a bit more about their fitness.”

As well as the fitness tracker, step leagues and digital badges, the app provides video, social media and news feeds, and fixtures and results, so fans can keep in touch with the latest club news while keeping fit at the same time.

Ian Blease, Director of Rugby and Operations, Salford Red Devils, said: “It is great that so many fans have signed up to this app and are doing such a huge amount of exercise. Congratulation to all the winners so far. A lot of fans from all clubs and sports just come to matches, maybe after being in the pub, and watch athletes run around the pitch, without doing any exercise themselves. 

“At Salford Red Devils we want to try to change that and this could be one great way of doing it. If we can get more fans to become more active thanks to this app then it will be worthwhile.”

Rugby League Club Salford Red Devils are encouraging their fans to get involved. All that is needed is a smartphone, either Android or iOS. 

You can download Red Devils Fit now on Android and iPhone by visiting:  

Any club that wants to sign up to Fan Fit and help their supporters shed a few pounds should contact Dr Alex Fenton at

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361