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Celebrating walking football

Published on 12 November 2021 09:39 AM

Pictured (left to right): Gordon Smith from the Walking Football Group; Oriam team member Lorraine Boyd; Craig Gordon, Club Captain of Heart of Midlothian FC; and Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland.

Oriam Walking Football (OWF) are delighted to be celebrating a welcome return to the beautiful game after a long period away due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their ‘Celebration of Walking Football’ is taking place on Sunday 21st November at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, and will showcase the benefits and fun of walking football for existing players and newcomers alike.

We’re honoured and grateful that OWF have named Age Scotland their chosen charity, and funds raised in the run up to the event and on the day will go towards our vital services supporting older people across Scotland.

During the event, a team of dedicated walking footballers will take on a marathon challenge to play continuously throughout the day from 9am to 5pm against a variety of invited teams, aiming to raise as much as possible in the process. These players are in their 50s, 60s and 70s, so playing for 8 hours with only a short break between matches is no small feat. We hope you will support them generously in their efforts.

The event will also stage two competitive walking football tournaments, one for players aged over 50 and the other for those over 65, each featuring several teams from across Scotland.

Taking part in the over 50s tournament will be:

  • Oriam
  • St James, Dundee
  • Fife Wanderers
  • Tweedvale
  • Hearts Corn Exchange
  • Edinburgh City
  • Scone
  • Linlithgow Rose
  • Syngenta, Dundee
  • Pollok United
  • Hearts
  • Raith Rovers
  • Stenhousemuir
  • Ayr United

While the over 65s tournament will see competitors from:

  • Fife Wanderers
  • Tweedvale
  • Edinburgh City
  • Alloa Athletic
  • Pollok United

Craig Gordon, Club Captain of Heart of Midlothian FC, commented:

“I am proud to lend my support to the Celebration of Walking Football event.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, not least older people who are often more vulnerable to isolation from friends and family. Walking Football not only offers older people a great way to stay fit and active, it also acts as a great way to catch up with friends and make new acquaintances.”

Age Scotland’s Chief Executive, Brian Sloan, will also be part of the team taking part in the marathon challenge. He said:

“Walking football, and the rising popularity of walking sport in general, is helping to make sport enjoyable, sociable and inclusive for everyone and I’ve been delighted to see it going from strength to strength in Scotland.

“It deserves to be celebrated, so it’s wonderful that teams from across the country are coming together for this exciting event – especially after a long period away due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“We at Age Scotland are honoured and grateful that Oriam Walking Football have named us their chosen charity, and I’m personally looking forward to getting involved as a member of the marathon challenge team on the day.

“We hope you’ll show support for what is sure to be a great day of camaraderie, fun and friendly competition, your donations will make a real difference to the lives of older people struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Every £10 raised will allow us to make two calls through our friendship line which offers comfort and reassurance to older people who might not hear from anyone else during the week.”

All involved are very grateful to Oriam for their support and effort to make this day a success.

Donations can be made at www.age.scot/walkingfootball-donate

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