Bramley Walking Wanderers
‘Tackling’ Social Isolation

Fitness & NutritionHealthMental Health

−−− BY LINZI DAVIES −−−

Do you enjoy team sports, the outdoors and meeting new people, but don’t like the physicality often involved in traditional games? If the answer to the above is yes, then walking football may be just what you need! 

Walking football is just like regular football, but with a couple of added rules including no running, no tackling and no physicality. This means that it is one of the biggest growing sports in the region as anyone can get involved, regardless of physical ability.  

Bramley Walking Wonderers is a walking football group open to all over the age of 50. They started out just over two years ago at Bramley Community Centre with the help of Time to Shine funding from the National Lottery and organised by ‘Your Back Yard’ Social Enterprise and Bramley Elderly Action. When covid -19 restrictions hit, they moved outdoors to train and play as guidelines allowed, and have remained so ever since, now meeting on a pitch just off Broad Lane just above the Black Lion pub. 

There is currently a mixed squad of 14 members who meet every Friday at 10am to train or play, and you are welcome to join them. Although walking football has created some high-level teams playing within leagues, Bramley Wanderers is all about the social side of team sport – they get together, have fun and the only thing getting tackled is social isolation and loneliness! They play friendlies against other teams in the city including from Rothwell and Meanwood and have even got local school children involved – recently playing against a group of Year 5 students from Raynville Primary School. This is the beauty of walking football!

Graham Birch aged 71 has been playing since the group first started. He said, “I really wanted to exercise, couldn’t hike anymore like in my younger days, so tried the football. It’s really enjoyable, I feel fitter, healthier, and I am making new friends. Great we get to play different teams like us too, and it really helped me get through the pandemic.”

As well as the Friday morning games, the group also run an online aerobic session on a Monday, enabling people to get fit and socialise from the comfort of their own home. 

If you are interested in giving walking football a go, then Bramley Walking Wanderers would love to hear from you. You can contact Tony Mullin, Director of Your Back Yard by tel:07970 903766 email tony@yourbackyard.org.uk or for more information visit;

www.yourbackyard.org.uk

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