Adapted sports such as walking football and chair-based exercises have grown in popularity over recent years. As well as benefiting older people, these sports are often open to people of all ages and abilities to provide a way to mix with others and play a sport in a more accessible way. Moreover, team sports are a great way of reducing loneliness, having fun and improving your health.
Unfortunately, many elders feel discouraged to practice competitive sports for the fear of having a fall or because they have previous conditions that prevent them from doing strenuous exercise. Perhaps walking football is the answer!
Walking football is an adapted sport especially recommended to boost physical exercise and combat loneliness among people over 50 with a lack of mobility. Walking football sessions are a great way to recapture the fun of our youth.
What are the differences between walking football and traditional football?
Rules can vary to suit the individual needs and abilities of the people playing walking football, but here are some general rules:
- Matches only last 60 minutes, rather than 90
- Each team has 7 players and can make as many substitutions as they need
- The most important of all rules, no running allowed, and no contact between players
- There is no offside rule
- Don’t kick the ball higher than 1.83 metres
- Sanctioned players are sent to the sin bin for time out
- The width of the pitch is 16 metres
The healthy competition, playing football together and chatting in the pitch for hours every week often leads the players to see each other outside of sessions. That makes adapted sports a great option to keep active in your senior years as well as socialise with other people with similar interests.
If you are from the Richmond area, Richmond Town FC walking football team meets every Tuesday night at 8:30pm-9:30pm and every Thursday afternoon at 1:00pm-2:00pm. They always welcome new players to come for kickabout!