Walking Football is probably the fastest growing sport in the UK for the over 55’s right now.
It gives the opportunity for people to revisit the fun the might have had before the running and physical contact became too much. Retirement from the game through the lack of stamina and aging joints needing more recovery time resigns most into retirement from the playing game at any level. But now there is a resurgence, not only from ex-footballers but anyone that likes the idea of exercising by kicking a football.
The rules revolve around playing football at a walking pace (of course), but also include no physical contact, no heading the ball and a general mood of courteous gamesmanship. Any perceived ‘running’ is penalised with a free kick as is any physical contact. Tackling for the ball is allowed but not with bodily contact or slide tackling. The players must stay on their feet apart from the goalkeeper who is allowed to dive.
Of course, it can get competitive and those that are capable soon move into a team to compete against others. There are developed leagues and even International Matches but usually, the matches are friendlies against teams of a similar level.
Age groups are defined, usually, over 55’s, over 60’s and over 65’s but players may be eligible to play for any younger age group if they still have the desire and ability.
Turn up and Play
Birchwood Walking Football is held from 10.00am to 11.00am every Tuesday morning and 19.00 to 20.00 on Friday evenings on the 3G pitch at Birchwood.