WALKING FOOTBALL is probably one of the fastest growing new sports in the world and has now just arrived on the Costa Del Sol, with the launch of Walking Football Spain.
Walking Football began in 2011 in Chesterfield in the UK and was designed primarily for people over the age of 50, to continue to be able to play the game they love as they grow older.
Since then, it has blossomed to over 1,000 clubs and even the EU are encouraging top league football teams to support it, as a form of community outreach.
Walking Football is played as a 5-a-side or 7-a-side football match with no running and very minimal contact. This makes it ideal for men and women of all ages to play together.
As yet, there are no standardised set of rules, but various bodies in the UK are looking to formalise the rules and regulations shortly.
Adam Chandler, founder of Walking Football Spain, explained why he began the initiative,
“I was always a keen sports player and played football for my Regimental Unit when I was in the Army and also played tennis and badminton regularly,” said Adam.
“But in my 40s, I began to have problems with my knees and required keyhole surgery on both knees, twice, putting an end to my footballing days, sadly.”
Adam, having moved to Marbella last November and keen to get back into sport, was unable to find any walking football clubs, so decided to set up his own.
“Walking Football is a great way to not only play football, but also to keep fit and to make new friends, as lot of seniors in Spain can be a bit lonely, so joining a football club is a perfect way to make an instant group of friends and to have some fun in the process.” He said.
With the growing popularity of the sport throughout Europe and beyond, Walking Football Spain are planning to host their very first tournament this September in Torremolinos having already chosen a charity to support , Cudeca, who offer palliative care to cancer sufferers in the Malaga province.
Avalon Europe, who are the market leading provider of funeral plans in Spain, already committing to a sponsorship deal with Walking Football Spain.
Walking Football Spain currently play at 10.30h every Thursday morning at the Estadio Santa Maria, Calle Joaquin Rodrigo, Las Chapas (Elviria), near Marbella, but they are looking to increase the number of weekly games to cover Benalmadena, San Pedro and even Gibraltar.