Walking football’s picking up speed in Yate
‘Walking Football’ has been such a success at Yate Active Lifestyle Centre, that those taking part are now fit enough to join ‘regular’ football sessions.
Yate holds Walking Football for the over 50’s three times a week. Participators can walk or jog around the main hall during the hour session.
Facilitator Mike Jones said: “Around 18 months ago it was suggested to me that walking football might be considered at Yate Active Lifestyle Centre and being the football man that I am I looked hard at it and got it off the ground.”
“That said, it was slow going and we’re not talking about the speed of the players! Only three or four regulars turned up initially using half a court at the centre. But we stuck with it and there came a point at which numbers gradually built up as players began telling their friends and it’s great that those few who were there from the start continue to come.”
As the participants got fitter, they wanted to run not walk. Mike Jones got in touch with Jack Stanbury at Gloucestershire FA to see what he thought. Mike said: “He suggested we got involved with the FA’s Just Play scheme, which in essence is about people turning up and paying to play on a casual basis, whenever suits them, and enjoy football recreationally without any ties to competitive or organised leagues.”
“We wanted to provide a format that enabled people to walk or jog, and jog really is the word as nobody takes off like a Ferrari it goes without saying!”
“You can see that some have played at a high standard of regular local football and the banter among them is still alive and kicking!”
Anyone wishing to know more about the Just Play football sessions for the over-50s can call Yate Active Lifestyle Centre on 0300 333 0300.