Walk on…

Walking Football tournament kicks off at Molineux.

On Saturday 28 May, from 10am–12noon, Walking Football teams from across the Black Country will come together to see who tops the league in Walking Football. The tournament is hosted by Black Country BeActive project Black Country in Motion with Wolves Community Trust and takes place at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton.

Black Country in Motion is one of 15 Sport England pilot projects. The tournament will see Walking Football players follow in the footsteps of their heroes by competing on the pitch at the Molineux.

For almost three years over 50s have been getting involved in Walking Football sessions across the Black Country encouraging people to get active and improve their health. The fun, informal sessions take place in community venues and are free to attend.

The tournament will be delivered by Black Country in Motion volunteers who have been supported through the project to develop coaching qualifications and first aid qualifications enabling them to officiate, direct and manage the event on the day. All from the local community, the volunteers have received training through Black Country in Motion to deliver the Walking Football sessions in their communities.

Rachel Smith, Black Country in Motion said: “This is a unique opportunity that has been made possible through Wolves Community Trust to celebrate the rapidly growing sport of Walking Football. All of the teams participating have been involved in the project over the past three years and involve partners, supporters and participants both old and new. The Molineux tournament has been a great motivator to encourage new participants along and get involved in the project in what’s set to be a highly enjoyable day.”

Walking Football participants Gez and Richard added: “I just love football, I used to play a lot when I was younger and I love the concept of walking football. Walking football is ideal to get into especially if, like me, you’ve had ill health or an injury. Not only do I enjoy it but the other people that come every week really make it, they’re lovely people and have the same ethic. They just want to play and have fun.”

“I’m quite an active person anyway but the social side of this makes it even better. Exercise helps you with everything, it helps me keep up with my grandkids and enjoy my family.”

Simon Hall, Director BeActive Partnership said: “We have been working hard with our partners to develop activity across the Black Country which communities are interested in getting involved in and Walking Football has really taken off. Our aim is quite simply to get more people taking part in sport and physical activity, the tournament at Molinuex is a celebration of those people who are already taking part and hopefully will inspire others to find a sport or activity that suits them whatever their age and ability.”

Developed by the Black Country BeActive Partnership the Black Country in Motion programme, of which Walking Football is one project, is a pilot Sport England-funded three year project which challenges the barriers that communities, age 14+ across the Black Country have to participating in sport and physical activity.

To find out more and where your nearest Walking Football session is taking place please contact: Rachel- rachelsmith@blackcountryinmotion.org.uk 07532 411166 Ben – benthompson@blackcountryinmotion.org.uk 07833 051048

For further information visit www.blackcountrybeactive.co.uk/