Walking football helps people over 50 keep active

Walking football has become increasingly popular amongst older generations.

The slower-paced version of the sport provides physical, mental and social benefits to its players.

Chris Pocock, organiser of the walking football club in Strood, said that the most difficult thing about playing the sport is to walk.

He said: “For people who have been playing football for all these years, trying not to run when the ball is too far away is just very difficult for them.”

Young people can take part too, but the sport is aimed at anyone over 50.  The oldest player in the team in Strood is 82-years-old.

There are several teams to play for competitively in Kent in the walking football league, but anyone can play socially at Strood Leisure Centre.

The sport has a few different rules to the original game, such as one foot must be on the floor at all times and the goal keeper must stay within the ‘D’ markings. A match would usually be 5-a-side and vary in length of play from 10 to 15 minutes compared to 90.

Chris Pocock says: “If a player falls over, we stop the match until they are ready to continue playing. We want to make sure that our players are well and we don’t want any injuries.”

The sport is also appealing to people who have suffered from injuries in the past but who want to keep active without causing any damage.

If you would like to find out where you can play the sport, go to http://www.enjoymedway.org/events/walking-football