With the new football season already underway, Cherwell residents are being reminded that they don’t have to sprint like Gareth Bale to reap the rewards of a kick about.
Cherwell District Council is inviting the over 50s to participate in walking football sessions being held every Thursday in Bicester.
The rules of the sport, which is increasing in popularity around the country, are the same as for normal five-a-side football with the exceptions that it is played at no more than a brisk stroll, and that there is no slide tackling.
Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell’s deputy leader, said: “Walking football is a great option for mature players who want to stay active and make new friends.
“Physical exercise is just as important at every stage of life, and it is not fair that mature football fans should feel forced to watch from the side-lines. With these sessions we are backing those who are saying that they want to play their favourite sport at their own pace.
“As people age, a lack of speed or fear of injury can put them off from taking part in more vigorous sports. But walking football offers players many of the health benefits of full-speed football without the same impact on the joints.”
The sessions take place on the all-weather AstroTurf surface at Bicester Leisure Centre, which means that players are less likely to get injured in the event of a fall.
The walking football sessions take place on Thursdays from 3.30 to 4.30pm. The price is just £2.50 for the hour. The sessions are for the over-50s only and there is no booking required.
The council is working with Bicester Walking Football Club to run the sessions. For more information please contact the club on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bicester Leisure Centre on 01869 253 914.