A FOOTBALL team created to improve mental health and combat obesity has made history by playing their debut walking match.

Stroud Walking Football played against Abbeymead Rovers in their first ever match whilst also raising money for local cancer charities.

The game was played in a wonderful spirit of camaraderie and raised over £1300 for these charities.

Five teams (including one woman’s and one mixed) played in the glorious Autumn sunshine.

But there was only ever going to be one winner: friendship.

What is walking football?

Walking football is a fast-growing sport that is proving to be very popular amongst older and not-so-old players.

Followed by a nice cup of tea, new friendships have blossomed as a result and as the name suggests, the game is played at walking pace and is a non-contact sport.

It is a version of the beautiful game without tackling and heading to protect players and keep them fit for the next match. 

A fledgling Stroud Walking Football session was established in 2018 with its main aim to offer an enjoyable way for men and women to improve their health and wellbeing.

Combatting obesity, improving mental health, and cardiac care are core aims set up by Stroud District Council and Gloucestershire FA.

Over the last few years, the popularity of walking football has grown and sessions now attract a regular attendance of twenty players or so every Monday morning at 10.00am at Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud.

Even if you have never played football before or are a bit nervous about the idea, the organisers say that this doesn't matter.

There is a place for everyone.

A new session is to be arranged on a Tuesday morning at the beginning of January 2022 for learning basic skills, specifically for women.

For more details you can see the Facebook group