Tom's story: from FFIT to a fundraiser
The personal shame of having to buy bigger trousers started Tom Buchan on a journey with the Rangers Charity Foundation that has helped him get his health back on track.
“I used to be quite a fit guy and played football all my days but that stopped when I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis a few years ago.
“It’s a horrible condition that leaves you with a sore foot and unable to do much exercise. There is no quick fix for it and I stopped being active. Of course being in my late forties that meant I started to put on a bit of weight.
"The plantar fasciitis cleared up eventually but I never got back in to doing any exercise and gradually I found myself having to buy a new pair of trousers for work as the ones I had didn’t fit me anymore.
“At that point I saw an article on the Rangers website about Football Fans in Training (FFIT). I met the age and the BMI criteria and thought it might be the nudge I needed to get back into the habit of looking after myself.
“The Rangers connection to FFIT was a big draw for me. For generations my whole family has been Rangers born and bred. I’ve had my two season tickets in the Copland Front since Souness was the manager and I stood in the old Enclosure before then so coming in to the Stadium, going down the tunnel and being trackside to work out was a big attraction.
“By going on FFIT I got my appetite for exercise back. I lost a stone in weight and I felt great again. The way I felt before FFIT was overweight and that my clothes didn’t fit me, afterwards I felt like I was flying.
“The 12–week course was absolutely brilliant. It made me more aware of the exercise I should be doing and the food I should be eating – and not eating. It taught me what I should be tracking to monitor my weight loss and fitness. My family even saw the weight loss I had and started following my diet as well.
“At the end of it I decided I wanted to do something special and signed up for the 10K at the 2016 Great Scottish Run taking place that October.
“I was originally going to run for my local hospice in Greenock but had been looking at the Rangers Charity Foundation website after being on the FFIT course.
“I saw that the Foundation does a lot of community work in Glasgow and worked with charities focusing on cancer and homelessness, as well as with others like Unicef.
“The Foundation also promotes the Club in a good light and I wanted to run with the Rangers Charity Foundation running vest on.
“I’d never done a race before so I used the training plan on the Great Scottish Run website and followed it the best I could.
“I started training at the end of June but my work at IBM interrupted this when I was asked at short notice to go to Texas for a month so I never really got to train properly until August.
“But I still managed to do the run and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did it in 58 minutes which I was quite pleased with.
“I raised about £350. It was really easy to do. I signed up for a JustGiving page and posted the link on my Facebook and asked all my friends to donate. Because I raised over £100 I became a True Blue Hero and was presented with my medal at a reception at Ibrox by Emerson Hyndman which was the icing on the cake.
“It was a great night. I took my pal with me, we had a couple of beers and some food. It was nice to meet with other people who had done other fundraising events as we all had the Rangers connection.
“I don’t know what I will do next. I have been playing in the Rangers FFIT team and have been going to the Fit For Life programme. I keep looking at the Skydive but I am also toying with the idea of the half marathon.”
You can sign up to take part in this year’s Great Scottish Run and raise money for the Rangers Charity Foundation on the event’s website. Those who do so before 22 July are invited to attend a free training event at Ibrox.