Peel Regional Walking Football Participant
My friend, in his mid-70s, had been pestering me for months to join him and play Walking Football.
I resisted, telling him there was no way I was going to play Walking Football.
I was too young, early 60s, and had played competitive 11 a side football all my life and Walking Football was only for old geysers in walking frames who’d never played the Beautiful Game before.
How wrong could I be?
I eventually relented and went along and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT.
It was nothing like I imagined - sure there were guys or girls who hadn’t played the game or some who were older than me, or some who had health/mobility issues but all that didn’t matter. The inclusiveness of the sport made all my previous concerns disappear.
It’s a different game from ‘normal’ football as it’s all about passing rather than running past someone who’s slower or not as good as the next person.
It’s fun but my competitive nature is still catered for because you have more fun if you win!
If you are like I was then all I can say is ...try it once and I’m sure, you’ll be hooked.
It’s good, easy, exercise with great camaraderie.
Floreat Participant and International Walking Football Referee
I have been participating in Walking Football for over 4 years and was part of the initial trial conducted at Wanneroo City Soccer Club. Since that initial set up, I still play at Wanneroo but also regularly play at Curtin University, Ashfield, Joondalup City and Fox Fives in Floreat. You could call me a Walking Football Addict!
Each Walking Football Hub I participate in has a great bunch of people. All there to support and encourage each other. The mate ship is fantastic, and I have made many new friends through the last 4 years. It’s great just to be out and about, getting some exercise and encouraging the wider team.
The best format I find is 5 or 6 a side on a 30 x 35m pitch, but the beauty of the game is you can flex up or down depending on numbers. We played 3 a side for example and still had a lot of fun.
Not only has Walking Football been enjoyable to participate in, but I have also lost over 20kgs in weight which is all due to regular exercise and encouragement from the team. My confidence has grown to the extent that I have completed my FW Referee course and now regularly referee matches on a Sunday. I have been doing this for a couple of years now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. My claim to fame was to represent Australia as the first Australian Referee at the Super Masters World Cup Event held at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, May 22. This event started in 2006 and has been held yearly in different countries. This year was the first time it has been held at FIFA. At this year’s event we had an Australian Team invited to participate and we all travelled to Spain to play some local teams and warm up prior to going to Zurich to participate in the event. The event was held over 2 days and was represented by 2 teams (Over 60’s and over 65’s).
I was extremely proud to be asked to Referee the World Cup Final for the Over 60’s at this event. Something I will always remember; the experience, just being at the Home of Football alone was fabulous.
The things I really enjoy about Walking Football are:
Exercise: Getting out and about and playing. It’s not over strenuous but consistent. You’ll be surprised how many steps you get in!
All abilities: We have many people at all different skill levels. Everyone fits in and no one feels uncomfortable.
Mate Ship: I have made so many friends through Walking Football, too many to count!
It’s great to see the Walking Football growing so well here in WA. There are a number of new hubs opening which is great to see! Walking football is huge in Europe and countries such as the UK and Spain have lots of clubs that participate in Walking Football. It was fabulous to see over 300 participants at the World Cup Event. FIFA were so pleased with the event that they want to host it again next year!
So, in summary, I thoroughly recommend giving it a go! You will be made to feel welcome; you will meet some fabulous people and have fun!