WALKING football is scoring top marks in Louth, where people of all ages and abilities are enjoying getting out and active.
Held weekly at Meridian Leisure Centre, those enjoying the sessions say they are social, great fun and quite competitive!
“People may come along thinking it is just a gentle stroll around, but it’s not,” enthused Andy Wood.
Andy, 57, of Louth has seen walking football open up a whole new fitness future for him, after aggressive arthritis and spondylosis of the spine halted his running.
So severe was the spinal condition that it caused partial paralysis down one side of Andy’s body – just at the time he was in training for a Fell race. The problems stopped a lot of physical activity, which affected him quite badly.
“The physical pain is nothing when compared to the emotional pain of not being able to do something,” said Andy.
“But the walking football is fabulous, I thoroughly enjoy it. Back when I was at school, the head teacher would say that I was the most enthusiastic yet least talented footballer he had seen in his life so yes, I like it but will admit to not being great,” he added.
Andy is joined at the sessions, which cost £2 from 10am until 11am on Tuesdays, by neighbour Terry Giltinane. Terry, 65, had a physical job with British Airways before moving north and retiring.
“I wanted to do something to keep fit and active, although I am always tempted to run,” he said.
The sessions are run by the team at the community arm of Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, supported by GOGA (Get Out Get Active).
“These are fantastic sessions and open to everyone. They are particularly good for older people where running is no longer an option or for people with a disability that affects their movement. We have a really good time and it is the social side of the sessions that is also really beneficial,” said Magna Vitae’s Programme Sports Activator, Josh Dellow.
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together and is funded by the Spirit of 2012 fund. Magna Vitae have been commissioned to deliver three elements of the project in East Lindsey. The three elements are Veteran Fit, Virtual Gyms and Walking/Geocaching. This project offers local residents opportunities to take part in physical activity within their community, as well as our core venues.