A walking football team first launched in Beverley four months ago has proved so popular it has now been taken under the wing of a local football club.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Sport, Play and Arts Service started offering walking football sessions in Beverley back in February, with the aim of encouraging the over 50s to enjoy the game in spite of age or physical ability.
Walking football is played with adapted rules meaning players have to walk with the ball, making it suitable for those who may struggle to play regular football due to age or mobility issues.
The weekly sessions, which formed part of the services’ ‘Let’s Get Moving’ programme’, proved to be really popular with over 12 people attending on each occasion.
Councillor Richard Harrap, council portfolio holder for adult and carer services, said:
“The Let’s Get Moving Programme really is a fantastic way to help people in the East Riding improve their physical and mental wellbeing by encouraging everyone, regardless of age or ability, to get moving, try new sports and activities, and make new friends along the way.”
As part of their commitment to helping teams become self sustaining the Sport, Play and Arts Service approached AFC Tickton to invite them to take on the running of the sessions as part of their club, an offer they jumped at.
To help with the provision of kit, equipment and newly qualified coaches, the club successfully applied for a £1,300 Connecting Communities grant provided through the council in conjunction with the East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group.
“The weekly sessions have been great, with some of the players returning to the game after not having played for over 40 years, and everyone’s fitness levels have increased so much.
“Everyone who takes part in walking football is encouraged to do as much or as little as they wish at the sessions, but usually they are all so keen to play none of them sit watching the game for long.”
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