January 31, 2020

What does Walking Football mean to you?

Helen Hyland, 56

For many people, being part of the Walking Football community has been a ‘game changer’. Walking Football is now the fastest growing sport in Scotland today. Retirement is a milestone for many. Some ease into it, but often the transition out of work can be harrowing. Losing the daily routine, the friendships, the purpose, and the remuneration can dent self-confidence and lead to a spiral of decline that it is hard to recover from. Walking Football was introduced into Scotland to encourage more activity in the over 50’s. It is a “slower version of the ‘beautiful game’”, which enables people of all ages to continue playing sport. There are so many societal and personal values that this new game encompasses: respect, loyalty, tolerance, co-operation, enthusiasm, or service – but for most players, it is the comradery that makes it so special for them. It is this feeling of friendliness, goodwill, and familiarity among the people in their groups that has given them new leases of life, a reason to go on, and to thrive. They join a strong, supportive community of like-minded folk and in the process, worries are lifted, firm friendships sealed, and life has a new purpose.

Comradery, 2019Photographs - printA3