Getting a kick out of walking football

They may not be Kenny Dalglish or Davie Cooper – but people are getting a real kick out of walking football.

Walking football

Loretto Care has set up walking football sessions to give people the chance to play the slower-paced game and reduce the risk of injury.

And while there aren’t many slide tackles or diving headers, it’s proving a big hit.

The idea came to life after hard work by Loretto Care’s Mandi Brown and Louise Brennan – and the people they work for.

Mandi applied to the Lens – a process set up by the Scottish Government, businesses and charities to help develop innovative projects and which Loretto Care has encouraged staff to take part in.

Judges were knocked out by her ideas on how walking football is a great way to increase physical activity, reduce isolation and help people have a bit of fun.

And they were so impressed by Mandi’s plans to enhance people’s lives they agreed to fund twice-weekly sessions.

Those sessions are proving that walking football is for everyone - young and old, big and small, male and female.

Ellen McGlave, 60, from the Fullarton service in Tollcross, Glasgow, said: “I’d never tried walking football before but I really enjoy it.

“You don’t know what you’re capable of doing, so it’s worth giving it a go.

“It’s something different – and everyone’s taken to it really quickly.

“I’ve met people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

“Regardless of fitness, people get a lot out of it.”

Walking football is proving so popular, Loretto Care is working with its partners in Wheatley Group to set up their own sessions – with plans to set up regular competitions and even a league.

Cathy Fallon, Loretto Director, said: “Walking football is really beneficial for the people we work for – and Mandi and Louise worked really hard to make this happen.

“It’s a good way of getting people involved in physical activity, reducing isolation by meeting other people – and having some fun in the process.

“It’s also a great example of housing staff and care staff working together to improve people’s lives.”

Walking football sessions are held in Glasgow at Darnley Community Centre, Glen Livet Place, on Mondays, from 1-3pm; and at the YMCA in Tollcross Road on Thursdays from 1-3pm.

From Monday 3 April, the walking football session will move from Darnley to Dennis Donnelly Park in Corkerhill in Glasgow south side.

For more details, phone Louise on 0141 274 8068.

Friday, March 24, 2017