New Community Trust Programme
Blackpool FC Community Trust Inclusion department is currently delivering a highly successful walking football programme for over 50s at Blackpool Sports Centre in partnership with Age UK, Blackpool Council and the Older Men's Network.
Walking football is a slower version of the beautiful game, which is a minimal contact sport with one main difference to standard football – no running! It is a great way to keep fit, learn new skills, have fun and socialise all at the same time.
The first session was launched in December at Blackpool Sports Centre with the support of Age UK Blackpool President, Jimmy Armfield, Ex-England, Blackpool Player and Sports Broadcaster. "I only came to watch but once I was here I couldn't resist joining in," said 78-year-old Armfield. "Once a footballer always a footballer".
Terri Sawkill, Chief Officer at Age UK Blackpool, who has been involved in developing the sessions said: "The biggest reason older men don't engage in physical activity is a lack of confidence. This is about getting them out and meeting others in the same boat."
Dave Maclean, Inclusion officer at Blackpool Community Trust, states: "The development of the group has been excellent and numbers are rapidly growing. Its great to see the same faces week in week out which is building new social circles for the participants with the added benefit of improving their health at the same time".
Sessions are currently running Monday's 12.30pm till 1.30pm at Blackpool Leisure Centre but due to the success and demand, Blackpool FC Community Trust and its partners will be also launching a second session a week starting today (27 February) from 5.30pm till 6.30pm, with a guest appearance from Ex-Northern Ireland international and Blackpool player Derek Spence.
Sessions are £3 each and open to anyone aged 50-plus, all standards are welcome. Call Age Uk Blackpool (01253) 622812 to book your place or for more details.