The new Canberra Foot and Ankle Clinic (CFAC) Walking Football season is set to get underway in the nation’s capital tonight.
First hosted by Capital Football in 2018, Walking Football has continued to grow across the country, with FFA launching its national Walking Football program earlier this year.
The program is expected to deliver more than one million hours of Walking Football over the next few years, and is aimed at getting older Australians involved in sport in a fun and social environment.
The CFAC Walking Football season, which kicks off tonight at Hawker Football Centre, is purely for men and women over the age of 45, to encourage older Australians to get active.
Capital Football’s Kelly Stirton, who again organised the upcoming season, says the benefits of Walking Football go beyond one’s physical health.
“Obviously Walking Football is not played at the same pace or with the same physicality of normal football,” Stirton said.
“So it’s easy on the body and a great way for senior Australians to stay active.
“I think it’s also a fantastic release mentally and a great way for all participants to socialise with old friends and meet new ones at the same time.”
Played on smaller pitches with fewer players, Walking Football adopts a number of modified football rules, specifically that players must always keep at least one foot on the ground.
Along with no contact, players aren’t allowed to ‘header’ the ball, nor is the ball permitted to be kicked above head height.
There are also no referees as such, something which Stirton admits could make for some interesting matches.
“The ‘no referees’ rule is quite fascinating, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people tried to be sneaky and get away with certain things,” Stirton said.
“But I think it’s a great rule, it lessens the competitiveness even more and puts the focus back on having fun.”
Walking Football season will also commence in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, with pilot programs to be held in the other states and territories.
Registrations for the ACT season are still open, and further information can be found on the Capital Football website.
CFAC Walking Football Season
When: 16 October 2019 to 26 February 2019.
Where: Hawker Football Centre
Who: Males and Females over the age of 45