The Macmillan physical activity team spent our recent away day playing walking football against a group on the Active Luton ‘Move More’ exercise programme for people affected by cancer.
Walking football is a simple but ingenious, slow-paced adaptation of the traditional game that does not allow running or jogging. It’s harder than it sounds, or even looks; actively trying not to jog or run is difficult and the resulting brisk/power walking really gets your heart rate up!
Luton’s own former boxing champion Billy Schwer, an ambassador for the ‘Move More’ programme, was in attendance on the day and took part in the match.
Billy, himself a vocal advocate for reversing poor health through good nutrition and regular activity, said: “I feel proud to be able to support such a fantastic programme. I believe that a combination of physical, mental and nutritional health will aid prevention and recovery of any disease”
“This programme gives the tools to help people fight against cancer. You only have to look at the participants today to see the benefits that they are getting from the scheme.”
Helen Barnett, Active Luton Chief Executive, added: “The feedback on this programme has been overwhelmingly positive and is making such a difference to people’s lives.
Luton is not the only project Macmillan supports to have adopted walking football into their programme with a positive reception. The Dorset, Berkshire and Shropshire sites have successful walking football groups.
Just last week BBC News mentioned walking football as one of many unusual ways to be more active, you can read about it here: http://bbc.in/1y2Tc6O
All you need to facilitate walking football are some goals (or cones) an indoor or outdoor space, a referee and some bibs! The idea of walking can also be incorporated into other sports such as walking Netball, Walking basket ball or walking ‘touch rugby’.
Be sure to contact us and give us your thoughts if you try walking football or another adapted sport at physicalactivity@Macmillan.org.uk or on our twitter at @Macmovemore