walking football

Walking Football

Fun, Friendship & Football – Women’s Walking Football

With its emphasis on fun and friendship, walking football really is the perfect fit for a whole variety of people.

For starters, it’s ideal for anyone who would very much like to carry on playing the game even after their ‘running legs’ have run out of juice.

Although even those who have never played football before will soon find themselves having fun and getting the hang of it.

But it’s also a great way to make new friends, to just get out of the house for a while and to stay active.

With no running, jogging or heading involved – and reduced physical contact – walking football is a fun and safe way for older players to enjoy the game and socialise together.

Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin has supported a men’s walking football club for some time, but the charity has recently helped to set up a women’s walking football club too – at the Monkmoor Recreation Centre in Shrewsbury.

The volunteer organiser Kate said: “We have around 23 players attend between the ages of 55 and 83. We didn’t have the opportunities to play when we were younger, so it is great to be able to play now through these sessions which take place weekly.”

This centre at Monkmoor was set up in October 2022 and was spearheaded by women living in Shrewsbury who wanted a female walking football session similar to the male session run by Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin.

This then sparked a partnership between the participants and the charity as they agreed to help with the admin of the sessions including advertisements, organising a venue and equipment while also providing all members with health advice. More recently the team have taken part in occasional tournaments with varied successes.

Local charity Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin have also supported this project through providing funding from Sport England’s Together Fund to allow the team to purchase equipment and hire venues to train weekly. This project quickly gained attention across Shrewsbury with the Town Council supporting the group where possible and BBC Midlands Today and BBC Radio Shropshire completing interviews on the group to further promote them.

Asked why the club was important, Kate replied “We were all inspired by the Lionesses Euros success and more recently the Women’s World Cup! This group is continuously growing as we have gone from 9 to 23 members in under a year. All women should have the opportunity to play football and through the support of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin we have been able to participate and enjoy the sport we love. If I could describe the session in a few words, it would be fun, inclusive, approachable, and friendly, it really is a team environment where you feel comfortable and can have a laugh.”

This group currently trains every Wednesday 10.30am-12pm.

Anyone who is interested in joining this team or joining the group as a player can contact 01743 233 123 or enquiries@ageukSTW.org.uk.

If you are interested in other walking football opportunities within Shropshire, please contact phoebe.warner@shropshirefa.com