Participants from the Foundation’s European Football For Development Network (EFDN) Walking Football group took to the field for the final time in 2023 as they played out the final tournament in 2023.
Walking Football is a fast-growing version of the sport which is non-contact and allows participants to play the game they love without the same risk of injury or level of exertion, whilst still boosting fitness.
Speaking after the tournament, Foundation Community Coach, Joh Joyce, said: “You can see the comradery between all the attendees and the good spirit that they play the game with and as well it’s really helped improve the mental health of a lot of the people that come along.”
“Walking Football for some of the participants is the thing that keeps them going and it’s something that they look forward to every week.”
“In addition, we also have people that come along from some of our other programmes as well and when people are able to mix and share stories it really benefits everyone. When everyone comes together like that it really strikes you just how close knit the group has become.
This year participants were able to attend tournaments in Newcastle as well as Madrid. This is something that meant a lot to the selected squad at the time. One of those who made the trip to the Spanish capital was Susan Ramsay.
Speaking at the time she said: “It’s an unbelievable opportunity for us to go out there and to be there playing Walking Football with my friends with the Rangers strip on, it’s unreal.”
Community Programmes Manager for the Foundation, Jordan Boyd, also spoke after the final full-time whistle of 2023.
He said: “It’s been a great year for our Walking Football programme and more importantly the participants. They’ve been able to go and do things this year that they may not have had the chance to do before and I know that many of them now have great memories of travelling to Madrid and Newcastle.”
“The EFDN Walking Football programme has been hugely successful for the Foundation, and it was great to bring it to a close back where it all started at the Ibrox Community Complex.”
As part of our partnership with the EFDN, the Walking Football programme was launched in 2022 offering people over the age of 50 the chance to take part in a free weekly Walking Football sessions at the Ibrox Community Complex You can see who is involved in the EFDN Walking Football programme and find out more here.