Walking football in the West Country 2014

Catch up: Nick Dewfall
The growth of Walking Football in the West Country

By Mark Tanner

In little over 2 months Walking Football has been growing in the Bath/Bristol area at a rapid rate. Nick Dewfall runs his own company called Inclusive Sport & Fitness, which reaches out to all ages and abilities to keep people active within sport. This provides a great chance for social interaction and different forms of exercise to improve people’s health.

Back in August Nick set up Walking Football sessions in Memorial Park Keynsham and since then it has been very well received in the area. So I’ve gone back to Nick to ask him how he has found it so far and his plans for the future:

Keynsham day time & night time sessions, Hanham indoors, Bath to the east & Yate to the north and all of this growth in little over 2 months, did you expect this when you first started it?
Not really it was a bit of a shot in the dark but we’ve taken a flexible approach so that what is offered meets what people are looking for. A bit of friendly competitive exercise.

Are you surprised at some of the football on display?
No, because there isn’t a reliance on speed strength and power the players are able to demonstrate good skill levels. We also use a Futsal which helps.

What are the backgrounds of some of the players?
All sorts, some have never played before whilst others have played for or coached at league clubs. (Oxford, Arsenal, Rangers).

Once Yate gets off the ground next month what’s next for Walking Football in the South West in 2015?
I’ve set up a Facebook group, The Walking Football Club and people from across the country are in touch. We’ve been invited to a tournament in Southampton next year which will be great. Obviously I’m sure the players would want to win it but the key thing I’ve found and enjoyed is the social side and camaraderie that comes from playing sport at any age.

Finally what would you say our over 55 readers who are unsure about coming along?
Come along, whatever your age, anyone can play. We’ve had players aged 18-78 play all united by a love of football/sport.

Anyone can play and it’s really good fun and although walking it’s decent exercise with a really friendly positive group of people.

Many thanks to Nick for taking time out to speak to us, we’ll be sure to revisit Nick next year to see how it’s going. So if you fancy getting back into football or trying it for the first time then contact Nick on his Facebook Group.

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