Getting Swindon Active: 'Football fans in training has changed my life'

Martin Palmer at Foundation Park
Martin Palmer at Foundation Park

Less than two years ago, 49-year-old Martin Palmer struggled to walk to the top of the stand at the County Ground.

Now he’s planning on climbing Kilimanjaro in February, and raising thousands of pounds for local cancer charity Aurora, and makes the 22-mile round trip from his Stratton home to Royal Wootton Bassett office by bike at least twice a week.

READ MORE: Council launches Getting Swindon Active programme

Mr Palmer said: “I was invited on to the Football Fans in Training programme here. At the start on the first day they walked us up to the top of the stand and I really struggled.

“I knew something had to change.”

Training at Foundation Park behind the main club ground once a week over 12 weeks, Mr Palmer said his urge to be more active and healthier took on a life of its own.

He said: “We started walking before the training, and training on other days, we all encouraged each other.

“My weight and waist size and blood pressure are all better, but how do you measure mental health? My life is better than it was, my family life is better than it was, I want to get out and be active all the time now.”

Football fans with a BMI of 28 or more, a waist measurement of 38 inches or higher and who want to change that can contact for more information on Football Fans in training.