Walking football. Sounds implausible and a little quirky. The beautiful game played out a steady considered pace with plenty of opportunities for team work, a chat and enjoying being part of the sport. Trained fitness instructors with a passion for the game provide warm ups, play the game with intermittent breathers and time to chat, followed by a shared cuppa and cake. All in the outdoors. As you know I’m a great believer in enjoying and being in the outdoors. Too many older people spent their days in the indoors, especially those who live in residential and nursing homes with dementia.
The benefits of football among older people are clear; improved sense of balance, strength, general cardiovascular fitness and a sense of achievement. An hour once a week can provide measurable physical gains and growing interest among older people with dementia as teams challenge each other to ever increasing tactics and wins. All positive things. Walking football in many rural areas would be further challenged by the lack of level pitches; an inadvertent bonus in the cardiovascular stakes. Men may fall but generally land on soft ground and pick themselves up again in the pursuit of the ball.
Walking football is promoted across the UK but not so much in Derbyshire. If you know of any then please let me know. Perhaps some local communities may wish to consider setting up a group? Some small clubs even provide regular sessions for all seniors as part of inter-generational activities which enables young volunteers to share their skills and passion for the game with the seniors. What a way to share the best of the beautiful game.