Veteran footballers produce a masterclass
AFC Wimbledon’s older generation rolled back the years to win a walking football tournament recently.
They beat sides from Croydon, Epsom, Chelmsford and hosts Walton in a tournament held at the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre. Walking football was devised to allow people of an older age to still participate in football by playing at a more relaxed pace and Wimbledon’s team have certainly got the hang of it.
Impressed spectators included representatives from the Surrey FA, the manager of Elmbridge Leisure Centre Andy Davison, and the Mayor of Elmbridge, Barry Fairbank.
The AFC Wimbledon team was made up of players who participate in the AFC Wimbledon Charitable Foundation’s Walking Football Programme, which runs every Wednesday evening on the 3G pitch at Tooting & Mitcham FC’s Imperial Fields Stadium between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.
The AFC Wimbledon Foundation sessions have been running for over a year now and are extremely popular with those who participate.
Mike Ryley, who has been an ever-present since the programme was launched, said:
"Walking football has enabled me to revive playing the game that I love after serious injury in my youth - many, many years ago - caused me to give it up. I absolutely recommend it to help with fitness as you grow older, certainly more interesting than the gym and a great way to meet new, like-minded friends".
Walking football in general is on the increase nationwide due to both the physical and social benefits it provides for participants.
Chris Cole, Surrey FA Football Development Officer, said: “We were thrilled that so many walking footballers attended the event. It was great to see so many like-minded people who benefit from not just the physical side of walking football, but the social benefits of football at all ages, get together and reignite those competitive juices! Walking Football is a great way to carry on or return to the game, and we would encourage anybody who thinks that they are too old, or too unfit, or unable to play football any more, to give it a go and find out that you can!"
If you like the sound of Walking Football and want to give it a try, please contact the AFC Wimbledon Foundation on 020 8974 5712 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org