Tag: over 40’s

Over 800 Clubs Play Walking Football in the UK

It was 2011 when two teams decided to play walking football for the first time, and now 5 years later some are reporting there are 800 clubs in the UK.

This is great news and just goes to show that people are starting to become more serious about competing in walking football competitions.

over 40s play walking football

At first, the whole idea behind the game was to get over 40s football players out of the house and playing some casual games to help improve their fitness, and while this is still the main selling point of the game, there is no denying things are starting to become more organised.

We are now in a situation where Premier League clubs such as Manchester City and Spurs encourage people in their city to play walking football on a regular basis, and where the FA have decided to come up with an official rulebook so there is no confusion about what players can and can’t do.

Not only that, but some ex football players have even been talking about a professional walking football league, where matches would be televised and thousands of people would go and watch in a stadium.

Walking football world cup

Who knows, maybe it won’t be long until we are watching a walking football world cup with players that have played in world cups from years ago? This would surely draw in millions of viewers on the television and generate millions more in advertising and sponsorships.

For now though we have 800 clubs in the UK who are playing the game on a regular basis, while thousands more play casually for fun.

the rules of walking football

So what are some of the rules you might be wondering? Obviously the main one is no running, although that doesn’t mean players are moving around at a casual pace. Some of the games do get very competitive.

There is also no tackling, especially slide tackling, and no going into the goalkeepers defensive semi-circle (similar to five a side).

In fact, many leisure centres are now reporting that walking football has become more popular than five a side, which just goes to show you how popular it is right now, especially among players over 50.

reasons to play walking football

Why has the game become so popular? Well, for one, it is a great form of exercise, while at the same time allowing men and women the chance to play the game they enjoy. Many of the people that play used to compete in local and Sunday league teams and now they get the chance to keep on putting those boots on every week and getting on the pitch.

Another reason is the social aspect, with many players enjoying a drink with their team mates and rivals after the game. This is a great way to meet new people and make friends.

If you want to play walking football then you should have no problems finding a team in your local area, or you can even start your own team and then apply to join a league once you’ve played a few friendly matches.

Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself.

They Play Walking Football and Get Awarded for it

All they did was form a team and play walking football in the town of Halstead, and now they have an award for doing it.

That is exactly what happened to a team that was started by John Smith, who at the age of 70 decided that having extra exercise was important for both himself and his friends.

Now, sports awards run by Fusion Lifestyle have recognised the impact he and his team have on the community, especially when you consider that many people in the team are in the 60’s and 70’s age group.

Walking football for over 50’s is very popular right now of course, with cities, towns, and villages all around the country starting up leagues and cup competitions to cope with the demand.

walking football is exciting

If you are new to the idea of walking football then you might be thinking it doesn’t sound particularly interesting. People walking around and playing football…how can that be exciting? Actually, you’d be surprised how good the games are, not to mention the skills required to play the game well.

Make no mistake about it, thousands play walking football every week, and thousands more are just finding out about it.

Just like John Smith in Halstead and his team. After receiving the award John commented, “I’m really pleased for the team, and that we were commended for encouraging elderly people to improve their fitness and their well being”

That’s great John, and let’s hope you and your team continue playing walking football for many years to come.

Young people play walking football

Is walking football just for people over 50 though? Absolutely not, and in fact, many younger people are now taking up the sport. Go to any city and you will find an over 40 football league, and then other leagues that cater towards people in their 20’s and 30’s.

It doesn’t matter your age, you can play walking football.

You can just play a casual game with your friends and have an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours, or for people that want to take it a bit more seriously, find a league to join where you can play against other teams of a similar age and skill level.

The rules are very simple. No running of course, and no tackling. Fortunately, the FA are coming up with an official rulebook so we all know the rules and there is no debate.

There is even some talk of ex professional players starting to play walking football, and that some of those games might even be televised.

Manchester City Support Walking Football

They may have beaten Barcelona on Tuesday, but the next day Manchester City stars were out to support walking football.

First team player Ilkay Gundogan and youth player Tosin Adarabioyo were out in the Manchester community playing walking football, while manager Pep Guardiola watched from the sidelines.

I think it’s great that such high profile people in the world of football are supporting walking football, especially when you consider that it was only the previous night they had just got their best Champions League result ever after beating Barcelona.

Maybe other Premiership clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are going to be doing similar things soon? Hopefully they will, especially when you consider how popular walking football is right now.

Walking Football in Manchester

This was all part of Manchester City’s walking football scheme, which was held at the City Football Academy.

As well as people from the football club, there was also members of the public invited along, where games then took place in different age groups.

One of the best things about walking football is that you can play among people of your own age, as games and leagues are mostly divided into over 40’s, over 50’s, over 60’s and over 70’s. Not only does this keep the games more competitive, but it also gives players the chance to make friends.

At the moment, most people play for fun, but there are more competitive leagues and cups, and this has prompted the FA to write an official rulebook for the game.

How to Play Walking Football

In the meantime, if you fancy trying out walking football for yourself then you should be able to find a club in your local area.

However, don’t think playing the game is easy, as many people who start playing it for the first time will tell you…it can be demanding at first and if you haven’t had much activity or exercise in the last few years then make sure you start off slowly.

Warm up before you start a game with some light stretching and jogging, and then warm down with more stretching once the game has finished.

Also, get familiar with the basic rules, such as no tackling from behind or sliding tackles. This ensures you can start enjoying the game as soon as you start playing.

How did Manchester City player Ilkay Gundogan get on with walking football you might be wondering? Well, although he scored against Barcelona on Tuesday night in the Champions League, many people thought he found walking football very challenging at first, because obviously you can’t do any running.

Yes this does take some getting used to, even for professional players, although pretty quickly he was scoring goals just like he did against Barcelona.