Dementia Friendly Walking Football's Successful Kick-Off

Cumberland FA’s dementia friendly Walking Football sessions commenced earlier this year, with the feedback to date glowing regarding one of the latest opportunities available to seniors within the county wishing to play the beautiful game.

Ran in partnership with Botcherby Community Centre, the sessions take place on a weekly basis in the centre’s sports hall with the football followed up with a cup of tea and cake. The community centre was keen to run Walking Football at their venue, whilst Cumberland FA felt it would be a great opportunity for those with dementia to enjoy the game in a friendly setting.

Open to all men and women aged 50 and over, the sessions’ activities have been designed to improve balance, circulation and general health and wellbeing.

“We really enjoy it – and the exercises at the beginning are good for my knees,” said Jill Hodgson, who has been a regular at the sessions.

Meanwhile, fellow participant Janet Collins insisted that everybody can try Walking Football. She said: “The Walking Football is great fun. I think almost anyone could have a go.”

The first dementia friendly Walking Football session kicked off in October and has got stronger ever since. In addition to Walking Football, participants benefit from strength and balance exercises as a warm-up.

Funded by Cumbria County Council, the sessions are held on:

When: Every Friday between 1.30pm and 3.00pm
Where: Botcherby Community Centre
Cost: £2 for a kick-about, followed by cake and a cuppa

Ray Sempill, Football Development Officer at Cumberland FA, said: “The dementia friendly Walking Football sessions have got off to a great start. Over 12 players have attended to enjoy the beautiful game. It’s excellent to see some of the players roll back the years, as well as some having a go for the first time. I learn something new every week when we sit down for tea and a chat after the game.

“I’m a Dementia Friend and I would encourage anyone to follow suit. You can help make a difference.”

To find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend, please CLICK HERE