How do people win the game of “Walking Football”? A new activity provides a chance for disabled to experience football.
A group of people with learning difficulties took part in a walking football tournament in Cardiff last month, as part of a project to build fitness and confidence.
Approximately 20 people took part in the event organized by Innovate Trust, which provides support to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. The competition was held at Cardiff City Football Club on 30th November.
“For the guys to try something new, getting together and socialize them as a group to create a team spirit. For some, they play football before, but not for a long time. So, to come together and play something, even me, just to get involved in the move-around with keeping fit,” said Steve Smith, the chief executive of the Innovate Trust also organized the event.
Besides, the more important advantage for is that, “being a part of a team, perform to the best of your ability, and stay inside a very good mental and physical well-being.”
In addition, they are doing plenty of things with the foundation. Steve said, “The foundation run all this and we’ve done tours of the stadium before, and we decide to do some charity events. Therefore, we set up a walking football. Before that, we talked to some of the guys and they were interested in it.”
For the first-time walking footballer, David William, it proved a great experience. “Walking football is a really good idea, for people not able to play football,” he said. “Like old people who are injuries, it’s a good opportunity to experience it. I really enjoyed because it’s the first time that I playing walking football,” said by David who is joining this event and work for support living services.
“We are thinking about the health benefits of things. Also, to make sure the communities get to see people with disabilities doing things that everybody can do. So it creates awareness. Hence, we want to create an awareness for the community to realize that anything can be done by anyone,” says Nico Stewart who is in charge of organizing activities and producing videos, also, has been working for Innovate Trust now for 11 years.
“Walking football, as a new attempt at our activities, will attract a lot of people who want to participate,” Nico added.
Innovate Trust also has a more innovative and appealing idea for the activities in the future.
“We’re always looking for new things for the people that we support to experience and try. Nothing is too challenging or too difficult. Like in next September, we’re going to climb Snowdonia, the mountain.”
Last but not least, Nico said it’s the 50th anniversary of Innovate Trust, “We were the first company to create supported living houses. We took people out of hospitals and put them in houses with support. So it’s what we’re doing it for 50 years.”
For more information about walking football and Innovate Trust, visit https://www.innovate-trust.org.uk/event/walking-football