A stroll in the park? Walking football launches at Sutton Sports Village

Think your footballing days are over? Think again! Walking football, one of the country’s fastest growing sports, has reached south west London.

The sport was designed to help older men who want to keep fit or try football as an activity and takes place every Wednesday, from 10.30 to 11.30am at Sutton Sports Village.

Surrey FA has asked Sutton United to take on the management of the sessions and coach Steve King is pleased with how the game is growing.

“Sutton United has got a large community program and we’re expanding all the time,” he said.

“Surrey FA asked Sutton to take over the walking football and numbers are growing, it’s a really fantastic time to get involved.

“We’re going to have a Sutton United walking football team and enter local tournaments.”

The game – which has grown in popularity over the last two years – also aims to enhance the physical and social health of the older population.

Joe Bennett, who was attracted to the game through a recent Barclay’s TV advert, said: “I’m 62 and I haven’t played football since I was 28.

“I never thought I would be going into a sports shop and buying boots again. I absolutely love it.”

walking football inset

As with any new sport, the rules around walking football are not entirely clear, and one of the first players to get involved with the sport in Surrey, Andy Cox, would like to see a clear direction.

“There needs to be some kind of standardisation of the rules,” he said.

“We play 7-a-side rules but some think we should play 5-a-side, so someone needs to say these are walking football rules and they are the ones you use wherever you play.

For further information on how to get involved, contact Rob Hardy, Sutton United community officer at [email protected] or call 07881 505961.

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