Walking football with a case study of Robert Montgomery
- Breaking Down Barriers
- Collaboration and Working Together
- Learning the hard way – trails and tribulation. Ouch!
- Shared Vision - about social cohesion and coming together
- Rising to the Challenge
- Practicing Patience
Walking football is up and “Running”
Our walking football programme initially started with around three and four participants, which was a challenge as it is hard to keep moral and make sessions fun and engaging with very few participants.
Our first session took place in Kimberworth however the venue was unavailable for three weeks, which meant we had to quickly find another venue to ensure the session kept running.
It was temporarily moved to Rotherham Leisure Complex which the participants enjoyed more because the facilities provided better equipment and more space which allowed them to have bigger teams to play at once, so we decided to keep it there.
There are now at least 10 participants a week due to word of mouth and people spreading their enjoyment of the session. This session was originally advertised through the form of leaflets which were handed out within the Kimberworth area. We now advertise via social media as well as leaflet drops to ensure we are reaching maximum exposure of the programme.
This session has allowed provided participants with a range of benefits including the opportunity to make new friends, improve fitness and become more active. As well as providing participants with free tea and coffee which gives those involved the opportunity to socialise with each other.
Active Through Football Case Study
The first session for all participants is free which allows them to gain an insight into whether it is something they would be interested in. The sessions are then £2.50 per week.
With aims to make the session sustainable, U3A are taking over the session to allow it to carry on running, this will then be up to the group to decide how much they want to pay each week and up to them on what to do with the money already saved.
Now there are more people attending the sessions it has allowed participants to get more competitive.
With an increase of participants a few more rules have been added and these are recreational to decide whether there are any rules they want to add or not.
From my personal reflection, the start of the walking football seemed very unlikely for the groups to become sustainable and was a high probability that the group was going to be discontinued from the lack of interest however, the group really enjoyed the first few sessions and started to bring their friends along too.
This meant the group got bigger and is now continuing to grow. We now have 13 participants signed on which is a great achievement after how unlikely it seemed at the start. When I have attended the sessions, it is great to see how involved everyone gets within the sessions and you can tell they have real passion and are having a great time which makes me feel very accomplished.
Robert Montgomery – participant case study
This walking football group has allowed Bob to make new friends and gain more activeness which is why he comes every week. He has previously played football as an adult but stopped as he had other work commitments and became inactive, therefore this has given him the opportunity to get back into it again and regain fitness. He has also brought his own friends along to the sessions to get more people involved and introduce them into the activity.
Bob first found out about walking football as he saw an advertisement within the around town brochure and got into contact with Andy to express his interest.
It has allowed him to meet new people especially with the free drink you can get afterwards. It gives time to socialise and make friends with the people he is playing with to make it more enjoyable each week. He has mentioned that now U3A are taking over he would still be happy to pay the £2.50 a week however it is dependent on what the participants decide as a group, he is also a member of the U3A as he takes part in walking cricket.
Quotes from Bob
“I think it is marvellous.”
“The camaraderie is very good.”
“Hopefully it will be as good for them as it is for me.”