Introduction to Walton Walking Football

Walking Football - A Slower Version Of The Beautiful Game

Walking football has become increasingly popular. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a standard game of football where players walk instead of running, we walk.

It is designed to provide exercise and health benefits for people mainly over 50 years old, by helping older people get fit or maintain an active lifestyle no matter what their age and fitness, as well as support people getting back into football if they have given it up due to age or injury. Overall we hope players achieve a lower heart rate, blood pressure, less fat and more muscle … and better mobility.

Walking football also offers many social benefits and opportunities to interact with individuals and small community groups whereby you can make new friends, thus reducing isolation and loneliness.

Live Life. Not Just Exist

It’s sometimes easy to get stuck in a rut in retirement. This is one sporting activity that is suitable for all as well as bringing us back to the beautiful game that some of us stopped playing decades ago.

Walking Football is a great way to try something new and get the most out of life.

It will quite probably be something you will really enjoy and soon you’ll be wondering how you ever survived without it.

Stay Healthy

We all want to stay mobile and continue enjoying our daily activities independently. Doing a bit of regular activity will keep you feeling healthy and happier in later life.

Retirement brings with it more free time. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle old friendships and get to know each other again? There’s no better way than by doing a sport or outdoor activity together.

Informal Sessions

These sessions are open to players male or female of any ability over 50 years of age, at Walton Walking Football we adopt part but not all of the recently published Football Association Rules unless we play in competitions/tournaments.

Don’t let competitions or tournaments put you off, these are separate events from our weekly sessions which are just for enjoyment & companionship.

We have a strict policy of no running (with or without the ball). Part of one foot must be on the ground at all times.

The ball must be below head or cross-bar height (6ft) and players must release the ball after a maximum of 3 touches.

Most importantly all these sessions are non-contact. With fragile bones and ageing bodies there is no desire to see people carried off and put out of the game for life. This is just for fun, please jockey and intercept passes rather than tackling hard. No contact by hands, arms or feet please before or after you have challenged for the ball.

These are essentially fun sessions, they are ideal fitness work outs where we only keep scores for the duration of the match. We are grateful to be back playing football, who wins is an unimportant bonus.

We do encourage a spirit of friendliness where swearing is prohibited. During school holidays, sometimes grandchildren join in so we always aim to play without any offensive, insulting or abusive language. All players are required not to lower the tone.

We mix up teams every week and players will get the opportunity to spend just a few minutes refereeing, this is essential when we are oversubscribed, but most of the time you will be playing football. Games are generally 15 minutes duration then we have a short break to take in water and then we switch opponents so that you have different opposition each match.

For example on Thursday’s we normally have 6 teams of 7 or 8 players. Every week each team is selected at random, which is a great opportunity to mix with different team mates every week. Each team will play each other, so we play 5 games of 15 minutes each. With a break for water in-between each match. Basically we play round robin matches.

Your health is paramount, you are always encouraged to listen to your body, so if you feel unwell or are injured, players are encourage to stop & rest, so that no further harm is done.

At the end of the session, for a bit of fun, we have a Man of The Match Trophy a photo of all those players who want to squeeze in. The trophy is passed onto the winner the following week.

For Monday evening sessions please pay £5 on arrival at the pitch and sign in on the sheet provided (£1 represents a contribution towards new kit when required, ie balls, bibs, whistles, cones etc. Up til now we have utilised kit provided by the Thursday sessions. The remaining £4 is prime time charge levied by Xcel.). On Thursday mornings please pay £2 in the centre’s main reception area and give your name to the staff member on duty, then sign in on the sheet provided at the pitch.   We also have a voluntary £1 donation to help towards buying essential kit, footballs etc., this is not compulsory.

New players will be required to fill out a health questionnaire giving details of your general health and any medications you may be taking. We also ask for contact / spouse details which we would use in the event of accident or emergency. Players undertaking this sport do so on the understanding that it is entirely at your own risk.

All players will have the opportunity to play in competitions / tournaments and friendlies against other clubs, if they wish to do so, these games are for the more competitive individual and therefore more formal than our Monday & Thursday sessions. This option is entirely your choice, see more about this in the Competitions/Tournaments section. These are run by Surrey CFA. All costs are picked up by the individuals who choose to play.

We play whatever the weather, so just wrap up appropriately and come anyway.

Tea, Coffee & Social Events

This is probably one of the most valuable parts of the session, where after the games players socialise, make friends and have a laugh about the game. The camaraderie over tea or coffee allows us to make new friends and opens up a world of social opportunities away from the football.

At Walton Walking Football we meet socially for coffee in the cafeteria on Thursday mornings on site at the Xcel and we encourage players to attend, there are huge benefits in this social interaction, it has helped enormously in strengthening the bonds between our players. Everyone values this very highly.

In addition to our weekly games and competitions we also have several social events such as the annual Christmas Meal, quiz nights, race nights and fun competitions etc. Where we can meet at different venues with or without wives or partners.

Several of our players are entertainers in their own right, they play in local bands, we have disc jockeys, actors, singers we even have a boxing MC and a comedian ….. We also have tradesmen or ex tradesmen, office workers, insurance salesmen, property magnates, the lot, a totally mixed bag of people who gel together so incredibly well.

We are honoured to have a Sports Chaplain, Mark, Blythe, as our walking football co-ordinator and through him we have links to community and church groups in the area like  Refresh Church

Competitions/Tournaments

All players, if they wish to do so, will have the opportunity to play in competitions / tournaments and friendlies against other clubs, usually 6 or 7-a-side

These games are for the more competitive individual and therefore more formal than our Monday & Thursday sessions. This option is entirely your choice, see more about this in the Competitions/Tournaments section. Sometimes we play against community teams representing professional clubs from the football league.

These are run by Surrey CFA.

All costs are picked up by the individuals who choose to play.

Nobody is obliged to play in competitions or tournaments, only if you want to.

Rules in these competitions are more or less the same as the recently published Football Association Rules, though with some exceptions agreed by teams before the games.

We have a strong contingent of players at Walton Walking Football, most of whom are retired so the nucleus is over 60 years of age, we are able to field 2 or even 3 teams in competitions. We desperately need to attract players in their fifties to help strengthen our squads.

Competitions are often in two age groups 50 years of age or over, and 60 or over.

Team selection will vary depending on availability of players and is strictly in the hands of the selection committee. This can often be a contentious issue for players and we ask for patience and understanding in this respect. We are a team and we want to encourage a spirit of goodwill within our teams at whatever level.

We currently pay a levy of £5 per player participating in these games towards entry fees.

Our kit is currently orange and black and anyone playing in competitions/tournaments may purchase their own kit from Serious Football by Clicking HERE

Before you purchase kit please ensure you have been allocated a shirt number from Mark Blythe, this will ensure we do not have duplicates.

Venue/Location

Walton Walking Football play at Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex, located in Waterside Drive, Walton on Thames, Surrey KT12 2JG.

Pitches are all weather 3G synthetic turf – located outdoors, we have access to 3 pitches when played across the full length of the main pitch. We can accommodate 6 teams up to 8 a side, though we often exceed this number everyone plays for the majority of the time.

When We Play & Timings

Monday      Evenings      8pm – 9pm (Except Bank Holiday Mondays)
Thursday    Mornings      9.30am – 11.00am

Cost

Currently these are as follows:

Monday Evenings £5 per player (£1 represents a contribution towards new kit when required, ie balls, bibs, whistles, cones etc. Up til now we have utilised kit provided by the Thursday sessions. The remaining £4 is prime time charge levied by Xcel.).
Thursday Mornings £2 per player plus £1 to the pot for team funds.

(Prices are subject to change)

Car Parking & Facilities

There are 227 free car parking spaces, 12 disabled parking spaces as well as coach parking spaces.

On site facilities include 4 changing rooms with showers & toilets, the pitches have floodlighting for evening games.

Other facilities at Xcel can be found here

Contact Details

Mark Blythe
Mobile:   07885 778501
Email:     mark@mccfc.org.uk

Tony Proud
Mobile:   07588 573963
Email:     tonyproud@hotmail.co.uk

Keith Harris
Mobile:   07958 634573
Email:     keith-harris@ntlworld.com

Dennis Howard
Mobile:   07880 354660
Email:     dennis.howard4@ntlworld.com

Chris Callaghan
Mobile:   07825 026611
Email:     cpc@kingswater.co.uk