No running! Football fans roll back the years with walking sessions in March and Chatteris

The March and Chatteris Walking Football team.

The March and Chatteris Walking Football team. - Credit: Archant

Football is known for its fast and frenetic pace – but a group from Fenland are rolling back the years by taking part in bi-weekly sessions of a slowed-down version of the sport.

The March and Chatteris Walking Football team.

The March and Chatteris Walking Football team. - Credit: Archant

Dozens of football fans – most aged 50 or over - have been lacing up their boots and taking part in walking football sessions in March and Chatteris for the past year.

The game is almost identical to normal five-a-side football but with one important omission – running.

Dave Wright, a member of the group, said: “It is now well established with a core of individuals who come along each week to play football, exchange friendly banter during the game and then enjoy a hot drink and biscuit afterwards.

“Everyone is made to feel welcome – some come for the banter and provide support with the tea without even kicking a ball.

“We recently held a special Friday evening session where we had fish and chips after a good turnout had walked about playing football. Some players had even been pulled up for running!”

The sessions, which take place in Chatteris (Chatteris Town FC) on Mondays from 10-11am and on Wednesdays from 10-11am in March (Elm Road sports field) are run in partnership with Active Fenland, a Fenland District Council project which aims to get the region active through a number of sporting initiatives.

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“Walking football is fun and is good for both physical and mental health,” Dave added.

“Teams are decided on the session where a balance of strengths and skills from individuals attending are tried to be placed on each side.

“At times the score is forgotten, players switch to even the teams out and when everything else fails the referee sometimes shouts ‘next goal wins’ when he sees some red faces!”

The players have also received a recent boost in the form of the donation of sponsored tracksuit tops by Impact Clothing.

Each session costs £2. For more information, search ‘Walking Football – March and Chatteris’ on Facebook.

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