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Maroondah City Council trials Walking Football program to promote positive healthy ageing
Walking Football, a modified version of football that involves no running or tackling is an emerging sport for the over-50s. In partnership with U3A Croydon and the Melbourne City Football Club, Council is launching Maroondah’s first-ever Walking Football program for male and female participants aged 50 years and over.
The program is being offered as part of Council’s Active and Healthy Ageing Initiative, which seeks to promote positive healthy ageing for older people living in Maroondah.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced early this year the launch of the national Walking Football program in association with the nine state/territory Member Federations. The two-year initiative is based around a social, small-sided version of the World Game, specifically designed to get thousands of older Australians more active and playing the most popular club-based participation sport in the country.
Maroondah's Walking Football weekly sessions will run every Thursday from 10am to 12noon at Croydon’s John Frost Stadium in Cheong Park, starting Thursday 6th June 2019.
“By 2020, over 40% of Maroondah’s population will be aged over 45. This significant demographic shift represents both its challenges and opportunities,” said Councillor Paul Macdonald.
“Providing healthy sporting opportunities like Walking Football enables senior members of our community the chance stay fit while having fun.
“For some, it will be an opportunity to re-engage in a sport they had played when they were younger, while, for others, it will be an introduction to this exciting sport.
“Walking Football is just like soccer, but without the running. It offers a great low-impact, team-based exercise, providing physical and mental health benefits and social connectedness for older residents,” Councillor Macdonald said.
Walking Football is a huge overseas phenomenon, with around 800 clubs in England alone, and has been successfully piloted in a number of Australian states over the past 12 months.
The program is part of a federal government initiative aimed at the over-65s, with FFA successful in its application to the ‘Move it Aus – Better Ageing’ grant program.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop is particularly excited by the opportunity this program will bring: “Walking Football offers a great low-impact, team-based exercise, providing physical and mental health benefits and social connectedness for older Australians.
“It reinforces football as the sport that everyone can play regardless of ability or whether you’re aged under 5 or over 75.”
FFA is partnering with Active Ageing Australia and a number of community organisations to help build awareness of the program and the benefits of physical activity.
10th May 2019 - ESSA focuses on Active Ageing during Exercise Right Week 2019
14th May 2019 - Construction completed for the new Maroondah Nets sports complex
4th February 2019 - parkrun Australia among 27 successful recipients of Better Ageing Program grants
28th January 2019 - FFA to roll out walking football across Australia
20th August 2015 - Aquanation gets official opening
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