Middlesex FA was proud to recently launch its inaugural Walking Football Festivals for over-65's.
The first of these was held on Tuesday 7 February at Bannisters Sports Centre in Harrow.
These festivals are the product of a growing demand from active Walking Football teams, particularly those aimed at higher age groups. The festivals seek to provide a platform for an ever-growing trend of older players who wish to continue their careers and have increased opportunities to play football.
Furthermore, these festivals, which will run from February right through to the end of June 2023, serve as only the first step towards the set-up of an affiliated over-65s league just in time for the 2023/24 season.
The first festival included eight teams playing one another in a round robin format. No scores were recorded with the priority placed on enjoying the sport. Indeed, the best result of the event was offering a chance for more than 70 participants attend to play a slower version of the beautiful game. In addition, all matches are played to FA Walking Football Laws of the Game, with matches officiated by FA Training Walking Football referees.
Andrew Perren (Football Development officer (Participation) at Middlesex FA, commented: "It was a great morning of Walking Football for the over 65s. For many players, it was their very first games against opposing teams. The spirit of the game was in full flow, and we're all looking forward to the next fixture dates in March."
Other positive feedback came from Howard Skolnick of RIP WFC ("It was a great morning of Walking Football that was well-organised and played in great spirit; I'm really looking forward to March"), and Harry Day of Gerrards Cross ("I appreciated the fantastic facilities at the venue, while the sportsmanship of all teams involved was good with a high standard of refereeing to boot; everybody is now looking forward to the next fixture date").
Future fixtures dates will take place in March, April, May and June, and Middlesex FA are always look for new teams to enter. To register your interest in future festivals, please complete the form at https://forms.office.com/e/mxRBQ1aH56.
For further details about Walking Football, please visit https://www.middlesexfa.com/players/ways-to-play/walking-football.