This year, walking football makes its debut at Greatness Park for men and women looking to enjoy playing the beautiful game who may not originally be able to. This is achieved by slowing down the pace of the sport, making it accessible to anyone.
Walking football can be played regardless of any injuries, so anyone who is battling an injury or illness can still perform despite being unable to run. Running and sprinting results in a free kick in favour of the other team, so the adapted rules ensure anyone can play. As one gets older, it is common to experience a new struggle with balance, strength, stamina, weight and confidence, and all of these struggles are combatted via the involvement in walking football.
Walking football offers a great number of health benefits like reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke while improving blood pressure. Other benefits include better posture, lowered cholesterol and lessening the odds of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, playing sport with your fellow peers has positive implications for mental health, releasing endorphins to lift your mood and reduce stress levels.
Additionally, the sport aims to induce societal cohesion. Walking football will give a means to socialise and involve yourself in the local community. By creating friendships which football does so well, the community is widened, having a positive effect on everyone around them.
It is given in the name that players taking part in the game are only permitted to walk whilst playing. Rules include; 6 players on the pitch at any given time. And players are allowed to use rolling subs to enter and leave play at the referee’s consent. Another rule that offers a positive spin to the game is that nine players are given the opportunity to play for the team, so more people are enabled to play the game they love.
Over the past year, walking football has inspired many clubs to help their local community. Over 800 walking football teams were registered in 2016, and this number has only been increasing ever since. Walking football offers an option to anyone looking to fulfil their spare time whilst socialising with their friends. Thus, giving proof to why it has become as popular over recent years due to its advantages.
Men and women aged over 50 are welcome to join in the Sevenoaks Town Football Club walking football initiative, at the 3G pitch at Greatness Park on Mondays 1:30pm to 3:00pm. We hope to see you there.