A new football format is taking off in Perth’s northern suburbs – and it really is a walk in the park.
Wanneroo City Soccer Club are holding weekly walking football sessions at their Kingsway Reserve home.
Almost 30 players attended this week and numbers are expected to grow as more people become aware of walking football.
To help get the message across, Football West was there to host a Smarter Than Smoking ‘walkshop’.
The appeal of walking football is easy to see, especially to the over 50s no longer able to get around the pitch as they once did.
The slower, safer and adaptable format is played on a small-size pitch with no running allowed. It helps keep former players active and involved in the sport, while bringing in newcomers of all ages.
As well as the fitness aspect, there is the social attraction. At Wanneroo City, players stayed back afterwards to socialise in the clubhouse – no doubt keen to talk the talk having shown they could walk the walk!
Football West Inclusive Participation Officer Gordon Duus said: “A Wanneroo City club official mentioned he had taken over the walking session and that it was a real highlight of each week for him as it was such immense fun. It was the same expression as a young child discovering the joy in realising they can kick a ball and score a goal as well as everyone else.
“The smiles speak volumes. With Western Australians able to live longer and more healthily, capability and expectations are decreasingly connected to age; in walking football it is fair to say how you choose to use your time and body is a much better indicator.”
In the UK, where walking football originated, many thousands of people play, and those with a more competitive drive have formed regional leagues.
WA may be at the stage of baby steps. But if the experience of Wanneroo City is a guide then walking football will soon be up and running right across the State.
– Wanneroo City SC walking football takes place on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to around 8.15pm. Players not registered to play outdoors pay a small one-off fee for venue and insurance costs.
A Football West walking football workshop runs for 75 minutes and includes a short “come and try” session, an education section, a Q & A, a few fun games and a get-together. These sessions are a fantastic opportunity for club representatives, members and the local public to discover the format, determine how they would want it to look and see if they would like to get involved.
Expressions of interest are welcome from individuals and clubs. If you are keen to take the first step, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and suburb and we will keep you updated on events and progress.