Now that the the clocks have gone back, the hazy days of summer seem like such a long time ago. The sun sets over the hills and dips of High Wycombe earlier and earlier and a cold snap is in the air. And the cold is no good for walking football!
That’s why the Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET)’s Walking Football sessions – in association with Age UK Buckinghamshire – have moved from the 3G pitch at Lane End Playing Fields to Wycombe Leisure Centre for the winter. And what a launch it was! We were delighted to be joined by Councillor Andrea Baughan, the Mayor of High Wycombe.
During the session, WWSET Head of Education Simon Wears, WWSET Head of Fundraising and Communications Mark Fawkes and Befriending Scheme Area Facilitator Rosalind Shorrocks from Age UK Buckinghamshire, went live on the multi-award winning Wycombe Sound to chat with Colin Besley on the Mid-Morning show. And we were also supported by James Richings from the Bucks Free Press, who spent some time with us at the session.
Our sessions are open to anyone who is over 50 years of age and has a long-term health condition.
Walking football offers a multitude of health benefits to older people such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, whilst helping to improve blood pressure. Positive changes in postural balance, blood pressure and resting heart rate, lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugar levels, bone density, and improving reactions, whilst slashing the odds of suffering from type 2 diabetes – all indicators of general good health.
Studies have shown it can be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate hypertension and that it can produce high aerobic activity with marked improvements in fat oxidation and aerobic power. Importantly, benefits are felt whilst deriving enjoyment, which makes people far more likely to exercise than perhaps the perceived chore of having to just ‘exercise regularly.’
There are also many psychological and mental health advantages to playing Walking Football – namely high levels of personal reward and satisfaction with reduced levels of stress and exertion while playing, despite working physically hard.
Walking football also gives an often isolated section of the community the chance to become involved in something they really enjoy, make new friends, form lasting relationships with like-minded people and generally improve their social circle and overall quality of life, often making them feel less isolated and more a part of the wider community.
Simon Wears, WWSET Head of Health, spoke after the session. “The walking football sessions we run have been a big success, and we have seen some great results with the guys that have taken part.”
“We would like to say a massive thank you to the Mayor, Annie Baughan, for coming down to today’s session. The support she has given us is really important to the promotion of such events, as is the support of Wycombe Sound and the Bucks Free Press. We’d also like to thank Wycombe Leisure Centre for allowing to use the facilities.”
If you would like to join us for a future session, you can sign up on the link below. Or for more information about these sessions, please contact Simon at email@example.com or call on (01494) 455736.
You can catch up on the event on WWSET social media, on Wycombe Sound’s weekly Wycombe Wanderers Show on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts and on the Bucks Free Press website and socials.
Some photos from the session: