As we age, activities that were once second nature can become a real challenge. For older athletes, it can be difficult to replicate the physical and social benefits of being part of a team, especially since senior health is often treated as a solo affair. But even as their mobility declines and their bodies become less flexible, the competitive spirit in their hearts and minds never dwindles.
In an effort to quench that thirst for competition and healthy living, many communities are adopting a new craze known as “Walking Soccer” or “Walking Football”. Walking Soccer is a leisurely paced game, designed to get seniors out of their homes and onto their feet. To reduce the risk of injury, running is against the rules. Each player must have one foot touching the ground at all times to prove that he or she is walking and not running. It’s harder than you think!
Walking Soccer has more than 800 teams participating in the United Kingdom and now Canada has caught on to the trend. Pierce Lang caught up with a group of men participating in what may have been the first ever game of Walking Soccer in Canada.
Participants have noticed weight loss, lowered blood pressure, improved mobility and many other undeniable health benefits from this increased activity. Sports therapists have even turned to Walking Soccer as a way to rehabilitate their patients. But, let’s not forget, Walking Soccer is also a whole lot of fun!
The sport has spread rapidly across Europe, and leagues have recently begun springing up in Canada as well. Don’t let the speed of the game fool you either, it is highly competitive – but the ultimate goal is to keep seniors healthy and active.
In early April, Stannah Stairlifts sponsored a tournament in Italy in an effort to expand the sport’s reach.
The mission of Stannah Stairlifts is to fulfil the needs of those, who despite their age, desire to live comfortably. With a Stannah Stairlift, seniors are able to easily navigate their homes safely and independently. At their core, both Walking Soccer and Stannah strive to help seniors increase their mobility, which is why Stannah was a perfect match to sponsor this tournament. Stannah Stairlifts and Walking Soccer are proof that age does not have to prevent you from continuing to pursue your passions.
Want to learn more about how to remain active as a senior? Check out Walking Soccer groups in your area such as Walking Soccer Geelong or maybe even start your own league! Here’s a video of an introduction to Walking Soccer in action so you can see just what’s involved: