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HEALTHY AGEING

Staying active with Walking Football

Walking Football is the game you love, played at a pace to suit you. There has never been a better time to be a slow coach!

October 25, 2021

Walking football for older adults

We know from talking to our personal alarm customers that having a healthy social life is a really important factor in maintaining a good quality of life. Staying active as we age plays an important role in this and activities such as Walking Football reduce the risk of falling by improving strength and balance.

Taking Care sponsor the Devon Walking Football league and we asked Daniel Eustace from the Devon FA to explain what Walking Football is and the benefits of taking part.

 

What is Walking Football?

Walking Football is the game you love, played at a pace to suit you. 


Walking football is growing fast. Men and women across the country are finding a new lease of life by getting back onto the football pitch and playing this slower-paced form of the game.

As the name suggests, no running or jogging is allowed in Walking Football, while tackles must be made without physical contact. This reduces the risk of injury, ensuring many can keep playing into their 70s and 80s.

Walking football offers a multitude of health benefits to older people such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke while improving blood pressure.

Daniel Eustice, Devon FA

 

What are the benefits of Walking Football?

As with any sport, getting regular exercise brings health improvements. Studies have shown Walking Football offers many benefits for older adults:

  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke while improving blood pressure.
  • Improving balance and lowering cholesterol.

Players also benefit from a sense of community and camaraderie. Being involved in a team and helping to organise training, fixtures and the club can bring a feeling of purpose and improve your social life. Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness so this is a big plus.

But perhaps the biggest benefit that players experience is in the enjoyment of still being able to play a game they love.

 

Playing Walking Football

It’s the perfect time to be a slow coach! Stuart West from Newton Abbott 66 explains:

“The enjoyment of playing walking football takes in all aspects of being involved in a sport that one loves and has followed from childhood. To actually be buying boots and kit in your 60s to wear yourself and not just buying it for grandkids is a great pleasure.”

Walking footballer

“When sharing a full pitch with other clubs, it’s amazing how age seems to disappear, with all age groups having a mutual respect for each other. Of course, the thrill of scoring a goal or making a great save or tackle never leaves you.”

“Also, a huge thing that walking football helps is one’s mental health. I’m now a career for my mother and would interact with practically nobody if I didn’t play football. It’s great to meet up with your club mates and have a chat and get out of the house and socialise with like-minded people”.

I got into walking football through former team mates and friends who were giving it a go. It’s great to meet new people, as well as link up with old team mates from years ago.

As well as Walking Football keeping me fit and active, it’s great to be part of a team again, and all socialise together at training and after matches.”

Jim Eustice, Kingsteignton Legionnaires


How to find Walking Football clubs near you

You can find out more about Walking Football at EnglandFootball.com.

Find local Walking Football clubs

You can also find out more about other types of football formats, adapted to both visible and non-visible disabilities:


Powerchair Football

Powerchair Football is the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs. The game is fast-paced and dynamic and allows all ages, disabilities and both genders to compete together.

Powerchair Football


Frame Football

Frame Football is adapted for players who use a frame or K walker to aid mobility. There are over 60 affiliated cerebral palsy and frame football teams across the country. Contact your local County FA to learn more about opportunities near you.

Frame Football

 

Blind Football

Currently a Paralympic sport and played 5-a-side,the ball is also adapted with panels stitched in that have metal shards that create a noise as it rolls across the playing surface for the players to be able to hear and locate.

Outfield players must be registered as B1 (completely blind,) although the goalkeepers can be either sighted or partially sighted.

Blind Football

Walking Football sponsored by Taking Care

The Devon Walking Football league, sponsored by Taking Care

Starting in 2018, Walking Football has grown season-on-season in Devon. There are now 20 teams who compete in the Taking Care Devon Walking Football league, and have fixtures once a month throughout the footballing season. A finals day is then run at the end of each season, at the Devon FA Headquarters in Newton Abbot.

Taking Care’s personal alarms are monitored 24 hours a day by dedicated Emergency Resolution Teams. Taking Care’s personal alarms include a personal alarm smartwatch with GPS tracking that works anywhere in the UK.

Find out more about the season and Walking Football opportunities in Devon.

Walking Football League


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