Salisbury FC Walking Football
Launch of Salisbury FC Walking Football took place during Half Time at Saturday's FA Cup Match.
Here's a little bit more on Walking Football and the story of Salisbury FC Walking Football so far...
Walking Football is a slower version of the ‘beautiful game’ designed initially for the over 50’s and helps compliment an active lifestyle, encourages improved fitness and creates a wider social network of new friends who often share their passion for football and some ‘past glories’. We continually actively look to encourage new players of all capabilities and skills to come along all, will be warmly welcomed to join in at the sessions with the emphasis ‘having fun and enjoyment’ . Currently the group meet every Monday between 09.30 and 11.00 with a wide age range from 50 to 77 [ two of the team share the same birthday and this year Ray celebrated his 77 whilst David was 75 ] we plan to add a Friday session 10.00/11.00 later in September 2016.
The Story So Far...
After six months of persistent requests from Keith Gale to Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire FA the first Over 50’s Salisbury Walking Football session was set up at the Five Rivers Leisure Centre in March 2015 with a handful of players that included Keith, Brian Crabtree, David Brick and David Tovey who still play today. Numbers at first were slow to grow and were not helped when the Five Rivers closed their main hall for over five months for refurbishment but through the determination of Brian found a temporary home at the Indoor Cricket Centre.
2016 and the return to Five Rivers has seen the group grow to around twenty five with regular weekly sessions having around fifteen players. To celebrate the first anniversary of Salisbury Walking Football we arranged a tournament in April and invited teams from around Wiltshire, Hampshire and even Kent. The Salisbury players hastily set about raising funds to provide some basic football strips by collecting donations for a car boot which eventually raised over £300. The team also decided to raise money for the Wiltshire based charity ‘Help for Heroes’ and raise just over £150 from players, family and friends. On the day eight teams took part including two from Salisbury and was finally won by Wiltshire PSG. After some excellent hard work by Jim Ayres [ Salisbury FC volunteer ] he manage to persuade Salisbury’s Chairman Mr Dave Philips to present all the players with medals and a cup to the winners.
Recently we took a group of players up to the Arsenal Emirates in North London to play a number of friendly matches on their indoor 4G astro pitch which is part of the Community Hub attached to the Stadium. After lunch everyone was treated to a complimentary tour of the fantastic Stadium Facilities. The team are planning a return visit and hopefully set up a mini–tournament with local teams from the North London community
We want to strengthen a team culture and increase the number of players at the sessions by promoting and pro-actively working in the local community to increase awareness with the possible benefits of taking part in walking football sessions which we could help to achieve by developing and building a strong relationship with Salisbury FC.