Could Harlow be part of a walking football league?

Lifestyle / Thu 3rd Nov 2016 pm30 03:52pm

ESSEX County FA Football Development Officers are hoping sufficient interest can be generated to reach a landmark in the local game as they investigate the potential for an Essex Walking Football League.

Walking Football is a variant of the more widely-recognised small-sided football format and it is aimed at keeping people of any age involved with football if, due to a lack of mobility or for other reasons, they are not able to play the traditional game. The sport can be played both indoors and outdoors, and it has grown quickly in popularity – especially since 2011 – to the extent that The FA are planning to formulate some official laws.

Advice from the NHS recommends that adults 19 and over take part in two and a half hours of physical activity a week, which for men aged 50 and over means taking part in an hour of Walking Football goes a long way towards helping them to reach their weekly exercise goals. One game usually takes around an hour and the rules are identical to five-a-side football but with one major exception – if you run, you concede a free kick!

Essex has a developing Walking Football scene, with plenty of regular sessions taking place provided by an increasing number of clubs. Demand is such that investigations are taking place into the viability of an Essex Walking Football League, and expressions of interest are currently being collected with a view to building a more organised local structure. The idea is for ‘Over 50s’ and ‘Over 60s’ divisions, but younger players aren’t discouraged from applying.

If you’d like to become a Walking Football player or volunteer, or if you believe you could pull together your own new team, please visit www.essexfa.com and complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ Form. Alternatively, contact Kevin Watts for more details via (01245) 393099 or [email protected] Details are also regularly shared on Twitter @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

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