Over 50s in Northamptonshire enjoying slower pace of Walking Football

Walking football is proving popular in south Northants
Walking football is proving popular in south Northants

A slower form of football for over 50s is proving popular in Northamptonshire.

This month Towcester became the 12th place in the country to set up a Walking Football group.

South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) is coordinating the Walking Football sessions in the district and has teamed up with the Northamptonshire FA (NFA) and Serco to deliver them.

Walking Football is a slower paced version of the game, on smaller pitches and with plenty of breaks.

Stuart Smith, football development officer at the NFA said: “Some might feel hesitant to try it out because they don’t think they’re not old enough. They feel like they can still run, so why walk.

“But the intensity level is perfect, low impact, but at a steady pace. It gets you breathing fast, gets you sweaty, gets your heart rate up, but it doesn’t have the impact that high energy sprinting would have.

“But for me the social side of it is a big thing. It gets people out of the house meeting new people and the retention for Walking Football groups is much higher than the groups for younger people.”

53-year-old Neil Sellars from Towcester played football for the first time in five years this week.

He said: “It’s fantastic. It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, I even brought a jumper because I thought I was going to get cold.

“I used to play three times a week. But this is a lot safer and you don’t worry about bumping into someone else and hurting them.”

Tom James, aged 73 from Paulerspury, said: “I’d not kicked a ball for 20 years until last week. It was great. Trouble is your mind gets the better of you and asks your body to do something it can’t. But it is fantastic to be on the pitch again.”

A Walking Football session takes place at Towcester Centre for Leisure, Springfields, Towcester every Thursday between 10.30am and 11.30am.

Sessions cost £4 which includes a free drink in at the TCFL Café afterwards.

Sessions and take place outdoors on a 3G astroturf pitch so suitable footwear and clothing are recommended.

For more information call 01327 322480 or email dan.moores@serco.com