Men’s Health Week

It’s Men’s Heath Week this week. In keeping with one of our main goals ‘health’, our Walking Football project engages thousands of older men each year, providing an opportunity for them to live out their dreams whilst providing an excellent way to keep healthy both physically and mentally. As you get older, the opportunities to keep fit decrease, and are often limited to isolated activity, Walking Football allows the older generation to play a competitive sport in a more sociable environment. Subsequently the men return week after week and the health benefits can be massive!


Sean’s story:

“Most of our players have retired and you reach that stage where you’re looking around and wondering what to do with your life. It’s important to stay active but you’re also not as mobile as you once were and it’s hard to find things to do that you enjoy. Walking football gives us lots of motivation, the camaraderie is great and importantly it helps us to get fitter. I joined because I had diabetes and the nurse said I had to lose some weight, and by playing walking football I have and feel miles better for it. 

It’s always fun and the game can be enjoyed no matter how old you get- our oldest player is 81! However when the guys get fitter if they want to do something more competitive it’s great to have competition like the EFL Trust’s Walking Football Cup that they can get involved in”.

 

New National Sport Strategy Tackles Inactivity

The Football League Trust is backing Sport England’s new Strategy for the future of sport that was released this week.

As well as continuing to support people who already play sport, there will be a much greater emphasis on groups who are typically much less active such as women, disabled people and those from lower-socio-economic backgrounds. 1487811_871411929554348_345700788928764935_o

Mike Evans, Director of Operations at the Football League Trust, comments, “The new strategy places a much stronger emphasis on the benefits that taking part in sport can bring, such as improving both physical and mental health, social cohesion and reducing crime. This is an approach that 72 Football League Community Trusts in our network have been taking with considerable success for a numerous years.  For example our Female Football Development programme, is very much about getting inactive women and girls from all backgrounds involved in sport with the focus firmly on fun and fitness.”

Arsenal and England women’s footballer Jordan Nobbs visits the Checkatrade.com Stadium Ball Court on Monday to promote the Crawley old girls (COGS) initiative. COGS is aimed at older ladies who have an interest in football and was set up through the Crawley Town Community foundation with funding from the Football League Trust Female Football Development scheme. James Boardman / TELEPHOTO IMAGES 07967642437

Sport England will spend £250 million to combat inactivity as part of five-year strategy which also include dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, Mike continues. “Because football clubs are in the heart of their communities they are very effective at getting young people active. Our Trusts an incredible amount of work in schools already with programmes such as Kinder+Sport Move and Learn are getting children active as well as teaching them the benefits of healthy eating.” 32

More about the strategy

The strategy will help deliver against the six health, social and economic outcomes set out in the Government’s Sporting Future strategy.

Key features of the new strategy are:   

  • Dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, including a new fund for family based activities and offering training to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England to help them better meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their level of sporting ability
  • Working with the sport sector to put customers at the heart of everything they do, and using the principles of behaviour change to inform their work
  • Piloting new ways of working locally by investing in up to 10 places in England – a mix of urban and rural areas
  • Investing up to £30m in a new volunteering strategy, enabling more people to get the benefits of volunteering and attracting a new, more diverse range of volunteers
  • Helping sport keep pace with the digital expectations of customers – making it as easy to book a badminton court as a hotel room
  • Working closely with governing bodies of sport and others who support people who already play regularly, to help them become more efficient, sustainable and diversify their sources of funding.

Read the new strategy Towards an Active Nation.

Walk On, Walk On

Over a thousand men from across the country have been competing for a place at the prestigious St Georges Park for the Walking Football National Finals next month. Providing participants with an opportunity to live out their dreams by representing their local team, the game is a brilliant way for the older generation to stay active. Growing year-on-year, 51 of the 72 clubs took part this year, making the competition tougher than ever.

Allowing the older generation to participate in a sport that they love. The slow-paced version of the game which is aimed specifically at the over 50’s, allows participants to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories over a 3 month period, just by playing for 1 hour a week.

Every May and June, we run the Walking Football Cup, in which EFL Clubs hold a local competition through their community trust. The winners are then selected to represent their club at a regional level. The top 2 teams in each region then qualify for the finals. Last year, Plymouth took the winning title with a 2-1 win in the final against Blackpool. Walking football has been growing year-on-year, and with 56 of the 72 clubs taking part this year, the competition has been tougher than ever.

Commencing in Derby on Monday 9th May, teams representing Derby County, Burton Albion, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town, Walsall, Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City and Wolverhampton Wanderers all made the trip to the Moorways Sports Centre to take part in the Regional Finals of the competition. Mansfield Town were the overall winners, beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the the final. 14th May will saw the remaining 4 finals take place. With over 40 teams taking part throughout the day at Blackpool, Doncaster, Exeter and Luton. The national final takes place on 7th June.

Supporting National Children’s Day!

Today The Football League Trust (The FLT) and its network of clubs are supporting National Children’s Day! National Children’s Day highlights the importance of a healthy childhood to ensure that they can grow into happy, healthy adults. The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn project does exactly that!

During 2015/16 The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project, a national school based education programme, will have had over 47,000 childrenmoving’ and ‘learning’.

Now into its second year, the project is aimed at children aged 9-10 and is delivered by 14 Football Community Trusts that combines six weeks of practical sporting sessions with classroom sessions.

The emphasis of the project is the importance of a healthy lifestyle for children; encouraging physical activity, promoting nutritional education and building the awareness of healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Thanks to the support from Ferrero The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project is building year on year with an 18% increase in children ‘moving’ on last year.

Aiden Couch, Project Manager at The FLT, “We are delighted to be supporting National Children’s Day. The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project is just one of many projects that The FLT deliver to help children get active, and break the cycle of inactivity many of them fall into. In 2015/16 The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project will engage with over 47,000 children, and this is only set to increase”.

Using the power of football the project is supported by a number of professional footballers. Acting as role models to the children, players speak about their lifestyle as a professional footballer and the importance of an active lifestyle.

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Recently nominated PFA Community Player of the Year, George Friend, Left back at Middlesbrough has been a huge supporter of the programme “It’s vital that we educate children from a young age on a healthy diet and encourage an active lifestyle. The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project is a really fun and interactive project engaging thousands of children each year. I’m extremely proud to be able to support such an important programme”.

 

Line-up complete for Football League Trust Walking Football Cup finals

Older footballers from nine Football League clubs are getting another chance of glory thanks to a new national football competition from the Football League Trust.

The Walking Football Cup has involved over 60 teams from throughout the country representing their local Football League club. We are now down to the last 10 teams who will take part in an exciting finals day at St George’s Park on Monday 6th July  

The ten finalists are: AFC Wimbledon, Blackpool FC, Crewe Alexandra FC, Derby County FC ‘A’, Derby County ‘B’, Leeds United FC, Norwich City FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, Swindon Town FC and York City.

Walking football is a slow-paced version of the beautiful game aimed specifically at the over 50s.

The competition is backed by football legend Jimmy Armfield, who said: “As you get older the opportunity to participate in team sports lessen – ironically at the age when you most need to keep active. Walking football is designed to help people keep an active lifestyle despite their age, as well as getting those back playing football who had to stop due to injuries. Simply playing one hour a week for three months enables players to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories.”

The competition comprised of five regional events with over 60 teams competing, with the top two in each region qualifying for the finals. At the North West final Blackpool, spurred on by the presence of Jimmy Armfield, took the tittle with runners-up Crewe Alexandra joining them at the finals.

A hard fought South East final saw AFC Wimbledon win and qualify with Norwich. Home advantage proved key in the Midlands with both Derby A and B teams reaching the final and therefore qualifying. In the Yorkshire and North East region an incredibly tense final was decided by a Leeds United golden goal, however runners up York City will join them at St Georges where they’ll be looking for revenge.

The line-up was completed in the South West where Plymouth Argyle finished runners up to a very good Swindon Team.  

One of the thousands of people who are feeling the benefits of walking football, Paul Jackson from Heanor, will be representing Derby County.

He said: “I played regular 11-a-side football on Saturdays and Sundays until I was 49. I then had some health issues and found doing any sort of exercise difficult but following a couple of successful operations last year I was able to start doing some physical exercise such as swimming and gym sessions but I really missed playing football.  So I was very pleased when I heard about walking football and for me this quickly became a replacement for gym sessions and a much more enjoyable one.” 

   

Dean Grice, from the Football League Trust, said: “Those dreams you have as a child of playing for your local team never truly go away, so the competition that teams represent in their local club and play in their colours.  We are also grateful to The FA for allowing us to use St George’s Park to provide our players with the experience of playing a top class venue.”

Walking football has grown massively over the last few years and as the name suggests it is non-contact and anyone that sprints, runs or jogs while the ball is in play will be penalised with a free-kick awarded to the other team. The game is played on a pitch 20/40 yards in length and 15/30 yards in width.

Dean continues: “We want this tournament to provide the opportunity for friendly competition and to promote and help grow the game. So that more and more older people can benefit from staying active.”

How the final will work

The 10 teams have been split into two groups which will play a round robin tournament with the top two teams qualifying for the semi-final.

Group One

Group Two

1. Derby County ‘A’

1. Blackpool

2. Crewe Alexandra

2. Swindon Town

3. AFC Wimbledon

3. York City

4. Leeds United

4. Norwich City

5. Derby County ‘B’

5. Plymouth Argyle

Football Legend Jimmy Armfield Encourages Older Footballer to Walk On, Walk On

Football Legend Jimmy Armfield will kicked off the Football League Trust’s first ever national walking football tournament in Blackpool yesterday

The tournament features over 60 teams who, uniquely, will represent their local Football League Club and play in their quoteofficial colours. The competition is comprised of 5 regional events, with the top two in each region qualifying for the finals which will be played at The FA’s prestigious St George’s Park

This slow-paced version of the beautiful game aimed specifically at the over 50s, Jimmy Armfield comments, “As you get older the opportunity to participate in team sports lessen – ironically at the age when you most need to keep active. Walking Football is designed to help people keep an active lifestyle despite their age, as well as getting those back playing football who had to stop due to injuries. Simply playing 1 hour a week for 3 months enables players to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories!”

Dean Grice, from the Football League Trust comments, “Those dreams you have as a child of playing for your local team never truly go away, so the competition that teams represent in their local club and play in their colours. We are also grateful to The FA for allowing us to use St George’s Park to provide our players with the experience of playing a top class venue.”

Walking Football has grown massively over the last few years and as the name suggests it is non-contact and anyone that sprints, runs or jogs while the ball is in play will be penalised with a free-kick awarded to the other team. The game is played on a pitch 20/40 yards in length and 15/30 yards in width with a size

The North West final consisted of teams representing, Blackpool, Crewe Alexandra, Carlisle United, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town, and Wigan Athletic.   Following a keenly contested group stage Blackpool and Crewe booked their place and at St Georges, with Blackpool just edging a tight final.  

Dean continues, “The competitive spirit on show evident from all the teams but the camaraderie between all the player was brilliant and there was lots of laughter.  We want this tournament to provide the opportunity for friendly competition and to promote and help grow the game. So that more and more older people can benefit from staying active.”