Walking Football: A Second Chance by Richard Wackett
Richard Wackett, 53 from Knutsford has been playing Walking Football at Knutsford Leisure Centre since the Autumn 2015. He joined the session following a hip replacement just 18 months earlier whilst also serving time as a Type 1 diabetic since he was 22. He wanted to find a session which allowed him to play a game he had always loved and enjoyed, but safely.
Richard tells us his story of how he feels he has had a ‘second chance’ since joining the Walking Football team in Knutsford…
“What I quickly realised was that my hip was sound and that I had turned out to be the most aggressive and determined man on the pitch! What I also realised was that walking football is not a game for ‘older men’, it is simply a different game for people of all ages and abilities!
The techniques and skills required in this sport are similar, not the same, as traditional football, but the playing field is very level between young and old, big and small because nobody can run. There is no pace in the game, but there is plenty of skill. There is less physical contact but the players still need to press and tackle. The static turns are more difficult than those at pace. Room is at a premium and passing is precisely to feet, but you still need to be fit.
Walking football is, as Adam our Tuesday coach keeps reminding us, a ‘second chance’. It is an opportunity to enhance your skills and play competitively. Some of us played football in our youth but the coaching did not exist. We are self-taught (in the playground with a tennis ball). So for some of us it is actually a ‘first chance’ to do something in a learning environment with a sweat.
Here is my recommendation: If you want to play football on a level playing field, as part of a team, whether you have suffered injury, surgery and, if you enjoy a competitive team environment, come and join us. This is not a sport for ‘old men’, it is a sport for all, as long as you keep one foot on the ground at all times.”
Richard Wackett. November 2017
Richard attends Walking Football at Knutsford Leisure Centre on Tuesday evenings 8.00pm-9.00pm. More information on the programme can be found below.
‘A SLOWER VERSION OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME’
This is a drop in football session for members of the public, mainly aimed at 50+ years old, or individuals, who have injuries and are recovering, with an emphasis on having fun and to stay healthy, in a safe environment.
All sessions cost £3.00 or free to Everybody members