In April 2013 we supported the development of a Walking Football Club in association with Age UK Surrey and Woking Football Club. The project has given older people a route back into the game they love, as well as reducing isolation and increasing happiness.
Participants have said:
“I went to the first session and loved it! I found that concentration on the coaching and playing took my mind off the exercise. It also kept me motivated to keep stretching, walking and cycling at home”
“At the start of the football, my blood pressure was being controlled by medication and I was having occasional incidences of irregular heartbeats. Since starting Walking Football I have lost half a stone in weight, my blood pressure has dropped, I have not had any irregular heartbeat and my cardio/vascular capacity is much better. The football has given me the motivation I needed.”
Since starting the group has organized a charity tournament with Woking FC and provided a Walking Football demonstration during half time at one of Woking FC’s fixtures.
Walking football in Woking has now spread, helping a local fitness instructor and former football physiotherapist to establish a weekly walking football project in West Surrey, and Reigate Sports Centre has also expressed an interest in starting up a Walking Football activity program.
Furthermore, prompted by the success of Walking Football, Surrey Heat Basketball Team Community Section has now established Walking Basketball sessions for older people with the support of Age UK Surrey.