Looking to shed those Christmas pounds and don’t fancy going the gym, then why not try Walking Football?
A volunteer on the Halton Borough Council project, took the passion for Walking Football all the way to Australia.
Members are going to compete in Benidorm, but you can do it here in Halton
Walking Football is a slower paced version of the real game aimed at over 50’s, you can only walk/speed walk to play the ball and there is none/or minimal physical contact.
The game can be adapted in numerous ways to suit the ability of those playing.
Walking football has really taken off in the last few years with clubs all over the world, leagues, competitions and a governing body.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Sport, Cllr Phil Harris, said: “Many loved playing football in their younger years, but most have given up by their late 30’s if not earlier.
“Lifestyles change as we get older and people often say, I’m too old for exercise, I’m not fit enough for sport, or I’m worried about injury.
“It’s never too late to get started on a more active lifestyle. You do not have to be sporty or super-fit to join walking football and everybody has a laugh, it’s what we call a social sport.”
Research has shown leading an active lifestyle can add six-years of life expectancy for a man and five-years for a woman, and it’s never too late to get started.
Halton Borough Council’s Sport Development Team started Walking Football with its community coach late in 2013 with free taster sessions at Kingsway Leisure Centre following a few requests from men who had noted walking football on a TV advert.
It started off with just a handful and eventually grew in numbers and volunteers with a passion to ensure it continued.
In 2015 a core group of gents formed a committee with a club membership of 17 members and Widnes Walking Football club expanded from a one-hour session to a two-hour session to accommodate their now 46 members!
Already at bursting point by 2017 the club was unable to take on new members and had a waiting list.
With demand for further places at Walking Football, Halton Borough Council’s Sports Development has supported another session get started every Monday 10.30-11.30am at Kingsway Leisure Centre.
Widnes Walking Football Club is supporting this session take off
Bill Smith was at the very first session in 2013 and last year whilst visiting family in Australia, Bill spread the word about walking football.
He returned to Australia this year to find Walking Football had taken off in Geelong, Australia, where he lives and is now spreading all over Australia.
The men have travelled far and wide signing up for competitions; they got to the semi-finals at the FA Peoples Cup in Manchester and some of the over 65’s have played in numerous over 65’s competitions reaching the finals.
The biggest adventure will be in May 2018 when a team plans to travel to Benidorm for an over 65’s competition.
Like most Sports, Walking Football is reliant on volunteers, and with the time and effort of a handful of people and committee members Widnes Walking Football have grown for strength to strength. (see editors notes for further info)
Walking Football is open to males and females over 50 and has many players over 70. If you think the game is for you, it’s a great way to keep fit, enjoy the game you love, improve health and meet new people.
For further enquiries contact Paula Parle: 0151 511 8550