This year, over 1500 men and women have represented their local football club in the Walking Football Cup whilst competing for a grand final place in June.
The slow-paced version of the beautiful game, aimed specifically at the over 50’s, has grown enormously over the last few years with proven health and social benefits of its participants. A survey completed during last year’s competition showed that 82% of participants believe their physical health has improved by playing walking football, with 79% of those competing in last year’s competition saying their level of exercise has increased.
Karen, a participant from Coventry City’s Walking Football team said: ”I used to play football and decided that I still wanted to be involved in some way, but as you get older it’s hard as you’re not as fast and fit anymore. So when I noticed that Coventry City had a Walking Football team I had to go down and play!
”I think it’s great for fitness as well as the social benefits. The great thing about Walking Football is you’re still playing the same sport and doing the same things, moving, tackling and shooting. It’s just a little bit slower!”
Over the last few weeks 6 regional finals have taken place across the country, with 72 teams battling for a spot in the grand final at Aston Villa’s training ground on 17th June 2017.
Here are the 12 finalists:
Blackpool FC (Walking Football Champions 2016)
Dagenham & Redbridge
Plymouth Argyle (Walking Football Cup Champions 2015)