A Reading grassroots football team specialising in helping men lose weight are trying to raise funds for a historic trip to the Micronesian island of Nauru.

XL FC offer weekly weigh-in sessions coupled with 11-a-side football sessions, focusing on fostering weight loss through physical activity and camaraderie. As members progress in their weight loss journey and fitness levels, they will have the opportunity to participate in 11-a-side matches.

Former Reading striker Dave Kitson has recently taken over at Nauru, the country with the highest percentage of overweight or obese citizens, and the forward wants XL FC to provide the opposition for the country's first official fixture.

(Image: XLFC)

Chris Broadhurst, CEO at XL FC, spoke to the Reading Chronicle in the hope of raising awareness and funds for their trip.

Our club treasurer, Tom, actually reached out to Dave through another contact at a gym and asked if he would be interested in coming onto a training session, which he said absolutely," Chris explained. "He came along and he actually took one of our training sessions in Reading. We got on really well with him when we spoke to him and he liked what we were about.

"He's putting together their first-ever team and the nation is in the top one or two in the world in terms of obesity rates- over 74 per cent of the population are overweight and over 40 per cent of the population of diabetes there is a real health issue over there just because of the nature of where they are and the fact that they've had to rely on a lot of processed foods from other parts of the world due to sort of natural resources being depleted on the island.

"Dave wants to leave the legacy of healthy habits and getting people involved in sport so there's the media to drive that forward but generally leaving healthier habits there and you know positive lifestyle choices through exercise. There's just a real synergy in terms of what we do and what we offer our players to what he wants to do over there so when he was looking at who could they play, they thought we would be the perfect choice because there's such an alignment.

"I thought they were joking to start with. There's a bit of disbelief- it is still a bit bonkers when you think about it. We’ve got the opportunity to fly to the other side of the world and can be the first-ever competitive match for a national team.

"It is a bit mad, and it was all a bit surreal when we were told about it and when we broke into the players. We got Dave to form a little video to talk to them about it and it was the same thing. Somebody simply said it's a historic global football event and then when you put it in perspective, it kind of is."

(Image: XLFC)

A GoFundMe page has been set up with the hope of raising £50,000, but the club themselves will be undertaking activities to fundraise.

"We're in the process of trying to raise some funds," Chris told the Reading Chronicle. "We’ve got a GoFundMe page set up and we're looking to get some potential corporate sponsors on board. There's talk of a documentary being made by one of the larger TV networks in discussion at the moment as well as lots of coverage on the on the BBC.

"We're looking for corporate partners who might be interested in being involved in in the tour and what it represents, specifically anybody in the healthcare sector for example be perfect but to get any corporate businesses or partners that want to get involved. We want to try and create the funds for doing as much as we can ourselves.

"They would like to do it this year, but it depends on the funding side of things. There was talk of aiming for September time but it's whether or not we can make it happen by then. It's when it happens, not if it happens hopefully. We know that the game could go ahead, it is just actually the logistics of making that happen."

Click here to take a look at the GoFundMe page.