Weston walking football group is helping to 'change lives' for OAPs
- Credit: Submitted
A walking football club is helping to 'change the lives' of older people in Weston and better their mental and physical wellness.
Walking football is one of the fastest growing sports in the world which helps those in older age, with a mental or mild physical constraint, enjoy football at a slower pace.
It's a popular emerging sport thanks to its accessibility and rules which cater for mixed abilities and ages. The rules are similar to conventional football but includes aspects like no contact or running.
A Weston group called Western Rebels is now leading the way to offer more people a chance to enjoy the game and meet new friends, exercise and enjoy some camaraderie.
Walking football is open to men over the age of 50 and women over 40, but is available for younger people when just playing at club level.
The group formed last year after seceding from a walking football group held at Weston A.F.C.
Now the group is looking for more members to try out the sport and 'enjoy a fun kickabout'.
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Organiser Mike Staines said the game is around helping people who may struggle with isolation and have poor mental or physical health.
Mike said: "We're keeping the game's original ethos which is just about fun with new mates, rather than moving ever forward into tournaments and competitions.
"We started out with just a small number of players and now have more than 40 members, some have never even kicked a ball in their lives.
"A few were reluctant to join because they had issues like Parkinson's and 'didn't want to spoil the fun,' but that simply isn't true. We're open to everybody of all levels.
"We're also working with organisations with similar aims so we can provide an outlet for people with mental health issues that can be helped through sport."
The group will now hold Monday taster sessions all through August to allow people to try out the game and explore its benefits.
Mike added: "At the moment we play every Wednesday and Friday morning in ten minute games and rotate the teams so everybody can get involved with the fun.
"But we're offering free sessions on the Monday's to give people a chance to see what we're all about.
"It's all a bit of fun and enjoyment - just give us a try, have a chat, a look around and kick a ball about for a bit."
The free taster sessions will be held every Monday this month starting on August 8 at Hutton Moor playing fields from 10am to 11am.
To find out more on getting involved with Western Rebels, contact Mike Staines on 07769 878000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.