The Sky Blues will be competing in the Midlands Region on Friday, June 26th in Derby...
Older footballers from Coventry and Warwickshire are getting another chance of glory thanks to a new national walking Football Competition from the Football League Trust’s which kicks off in Derby this week.
The walking football tournament features over 60 teams who, uniquely, will represent their local Football League Club and play in their official 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.
The Sky Blues’ Walking Footballers will be competing in the Midlands Region on Friday 26th June against Clubs such as Derby County, Shrewsbury Town, Walsall and Notts County. Representing Coventry City at the tournament are 14 of Sky Blues in the Community’s Walking Footballers: Bruce Doe, Phil Host, John Corden, Ken Tromans, John Clarke, Dean Nelson, Brian Stansfield, Ken Brown, Ron Bannister, Russell Watkin, Paul Latham, John Taylor, David Birch and John Sawyer.
The competition is backed by football legend, Jimmy Armfield, who, 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 gives that opportunity for the players to represent 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 anyone that sprints, runs or jogs while the ball is in play will be penalised with a free-kick awarded to the other team.
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.”
Locally, Sky Blues in the Community run two Walking Sessions per week with more than 65 over 50’s attending. On Mondays, sessions take place at Bedworth Oval Sports Ground and Thursdays at St Finbarrs Sports and Social Club. Both sessions take place from 10:30am to 12:00pm with participants meeting initially for refreshments, followed by 1 hour of Walking Football and finishing with more refreshments. Therefore, as well as the football side of things, there is a great social aspect to the sessions too.
If you are interested in getting involved in Walking Football, please contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Health Manager, Hiedi Sloan, by Telephone: 02476 786 314 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.