The Scottish Walking Football Network brings together five national organisations to support and enable the development of the game across Scotland
Scotland’s first ever walking football network has been set up by health charity Paths For All.
The Scottish Walking Football Network brings together five national organisations to support and enable the development of the game across Scotland.
Paths for All, Age Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Professional Football League Trust have all been brought together.
Walking Football is a slow-paced version of football developed for people over the age of 50. It is similar to the normal game, but with one small difference – there is no running or jogging.
It’s great to see people reignite their passion for football by making it accessible to them once again
There are already over 45 locations in Scotland already offering the sport and the new network aims to further grow the sport, create links between clubs and signpost people to their nearest team.
Aimed particularly at older men, the sport is seen as a way of tackling both inactivity and social isolation.
Ian Findlay, chief officer of Paths for All, said: “It’s great to see people reignite their passion for football by making it accessible to them once again – just by slowing things down.
“With a love of football in the blood of so many Scottish people, we’re delighted to work in partnership to help as many people as possible continue to enjoy the beautiful game despite age, illness or injury and to reap the benefits.
“We’ve long been advocates of walking as the way to a happier, healthier nation and walking football is the perfect way to encourage people to get off the sofa and into a more active lifestyle again.”
Speaking at the launch of the network at Toryglen Regional Football Centre in Glasgow, Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government minister for sport, health improvement and mental health, added: “Walking football is a great way to keep fit, learn new skills, have fun and socialise all at the same time.
“Walking in itself can reduce the risk of a range of health conditions and promote better sleep and concentration.
“The additional social benefits that come from participating in a football match make walking football a terrific and inclusive game and one I am proud to support.”
To find out more visit pathsforall.org.uk/walkingfootball.