Walking football is a widely recognised sport across the world. It is ideal for the elderly to take part in if they love the game but don’t have the mobility to be running up and down a pitch. Instead of running, they can walk and help minimise any risk of injury.
The rules of walking football are very similar to that of normal football, but they have just been tweaked slightly to help protect the health and stamina of older players.
We have previously blogged about the benefits of walking. It is great for keeping active, getting fresh air and improving strength and flexibility. It’s also great for keeping the heart strong by increasing the heart rate.
Walking football has the added benefit of being able to socialise with other people, strike up conversations and forge friendships. It therefore reduces the risk of social isolation, which is so important among the elderly generation.
Walking football began in England in 2011 and was devised by Chesterfield Community Trust. However, it has been claimed that walking football was played during the interwar period in 1932. A charity game was played between Crewe and Derby. Both teams had a combined age of over 700.
Since the sport featured in Barclays bank advert in 2014, men and women have been starting their own teams. They have designed their own kits and playing in tournaments through the Football Association.
The veteran football team for Wales recently won the Over 60’s International Walking Football World Cup, beating France in the final and lifting the cup.
Interested in taking part?
If you or a loved-one are interested in taking up walking football, you can find a Welsh team in your area by visiting https://www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk/wales, or you can try getting neighbours or friends together for your own game in a local park.