The Chelsea Foundation’s women’s walking football programme is proving a big hit with more than 200 players taking part in the last two months.
Hosted at the Xcel Sports Hub in Walton, Surrey, the women-only sessions take place on a Friday morning with the aim to improve the health and fitness of the participants and build social cohesion.
Sheila Richards, who started the walking football sessions in September, said: ‘I was dragged along last year and I’ve loved it ever since!
‘It’s been really good! It’s renewed my energy and everyone is so welcoming. It’s really good fun, I love my Friday mornings.
‘The best bit about coming is the team spirit and the laughs we have – and the getting fit bit as well!’
Gail Petifer heard of the new opportunity through her walking netball sessions and she said: ‘It’s been superb, I absolutely love it and it’s the best thing I do all week! It can’t come around soon enough and I want to do more and more.
‘The team are wonderful, the encouragement we get from the coaches and when we also play mixed games, the men are just as encouraging.
‘Having never played football before in my life I felt a little bit intimidated initially, thinking will it be ok or will I be good enough? But I absolutely love it and it has been the most fantastic thing I’ve ever done!’
Chelsea FC Foundation Surrey development coach Liam Allen added: ‘The sessions have become so big in the short amount of time we have been running it at Walton Xcel.
‘We started with two or three regular’s each week and now we are getting more than 10 players each Friday morning.
‘The benefits show massively from socially getting together and enjoying the sessions week in week out and even now having fixtures to look forward to in the future.
‘It also has a massive benefit on health and fitness with our ladies and gives them an opportunity to go and enjoy something they may have never thought they’d ever do before.’
To find out more on our walking football sessions or to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org