New walking football sessions aim to boost exercise post-Covid
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
WALKING Football is coming to Barnard Castle as part of a joint initiative between Barnard Castle FC and Durham Football Association to get people active after the long Covid-19 lockdowns.
Organisers hope the weekly hour-long sessions at Teesdale Sports Centre will also provide an ideal opportunity to socialise again in an enjoyable environment.
The sessions will be led by Dan McElhone, football development officer for Durham FA, and Chris Vasey, from Barnard Castle FC.
Mr Vasey said the new initiative will give the club, which is in the process of merging with Bowes FC, a complete pathway for players from nursery right the way through to retirement.
He added: "The merger is something we all want. We all agree we will be stronger together and by having a complete pathway for players we won’t be losing talent to other areas as we have in the past.
“With walking football, it adds another string to our bow and allows us to access funding that we will be able to go further.
“As it’s played on a five-a-side pitch and is a non-contact sport with no tackling, we can have mixed sides."
Avid footballer and former manager at Barney John Walker said: “It’s ideal for people of my age who played in their younger days, enjoyed the social side of the sport, but are not in the first flush of fitness. I’ve watched a few matches and everyone has a laugh.
“The hope is that we get about 30 to 40 people coming along and if we do get that kind of support we could look at a local league, but let’s walk before we run."
Walking football kicks off on Friday, July 16, at 4pm at Teesdale Sports Centre, in Barnard Castle, and is open to all age groups.
Each session costs £3.
For more information contact Dan McElhone at Daniel.Mcelhone@Durhamfa.com or Chris Vasey on 07577 791831.