‘Walking Back to Happiness’ – a good news story in these uncertain times
We’re back – Abbeymead Rovers Walking Football has returned. The game, which is already a slower and safer version of Association Football, which has ‘no contact’ as one of its main rules, has returned with social distancing.
Abbeymead Rovers, which is an FA Community Charter Standard Club, has worked hard to become one of the first clubs in the country to return to playing – even though it is very different than normal.
Stuart Langworthy, who is the WFA England Over 60s Manager, has put together a training plan which involves a good warm up, passing, dribbling and turning drills, a pass and move activity which incorporates finishing and a competitive 3v3 game, played in zones.
“I started with the WFA guidelines, which came out a few weeks ago and planned some activities – but as we are an FA Charter Standard Club, we also had to make sure we kept within the FA guidelines – our club secretary devised online consent forms, which have to be completed by every player. And a coach declaration, which gives the names of the 5 players plus coach in a ‘training bubble’. We had 3 independent bubbles this morning with 16 players taking part.
We have had to carry out a detailed risk assessment as a training session and as a club. All players maintain their distance and are able to play in a safe and controlled environment. The feedback from the players has been stunning – overwhelmingly, they have enjoyed being able to play again and the most important thing was the fun and banter – something we have all missed.
They also commented on how please they were that we had taken the guidelines seriously and they felt we were looking after their health. I have been amazed at the interest that this has created and I think it shows how desperate clubs and teams are to get back to some kind of team sport – what we do is very different to a competitive game of Walking Football – but we are out, in the fresh air having fun, with our team-mates and improving our physical and mental health.”
Download our training plan in Powerpoint and Word formats.