Name: Colin Fielding
Age: 71 yrs
Walking Football Club Name: I play for 2 teams; Nash Amblers and Tameside Striders
1) How long have you played Walking Football?
About 15 months.
2) Why did you first get involved with Walking Football?
I bumped into an old friend of mine shopping in Tesco's and asked him why he was shopping in his track suit.
He said he had just been playing Walking Football and invited me to join him later in the week, I did and the rest is history.
I am so glad that I went and I thank Garry for introducing me to the game.
I thought it would be good to try to play football again and with it being at a much slower pace with no physical contact which would help me to keep fit, lose some weight and play the great game again after all these years.
3) What one or two things do you currently do in your training sessions that you think are important to avoid injury?
The warm up at the beginning of each session is the most important part as it helps minimise injuries, pulled muscles, etc.
Also we always have a good referee who ensures that there is no physical contact and no running, this is critical to avoid injury.
4) How many times a week do you take part in Walking Football sessions?
I tend to play at least twice each week, Monday and Friday morning for 1hour on each day with Nash Amblers.
I also occassionally attend another session on Tuesday mornings for 2 hours with Tameside Striders.
5) Have you played competitive Walking Football, if so which tournaments / leagues?
I play in the Greater Manchester over 60's League which is played at Heywood, once each month(4 games) for 4 months.
This is an excellent league, well organised, with good referees.
I have also played in one off Tournaments, however the standard of refereeing varies considerably which has an effect on the level of physicality.
I am sure things will improve as organisers gain more experience and referees get better.
We have played quite a few friendly games against Derby County C.T. ,Barnsley Pals and others.
These have been a great experience and we have all made lots of new friends.
6) Has your diet changed since you have started playing Walking Football? If so what is different?
Yes, I have started eating more healthily and lost a few needed pounds.
Less bread, biscuits and comfort food and I feel much healthier now.
7) Do you feel fitter and healthier since you have started playing Walking Football and if so in which ways?
I feel much healthier now than I have for many years.
I am now back to my best weight having lost almost a stone.
I find it easier to walk distances and tend to walk each day.
I completed a charity walk along Hadrian's wall to raise money for defibrillater's.
8) Have you had any injuries playing and if so what were they?
I had a strained calf muscle after a few weeks of playing, which was before we started doing warms ups before each session.
I have had no injuries since then.
9) Do you always have a club member present who has had first aid training at your games and training sessions?
Yes we always have a first aider at each session.
10) Has your social life changed since you started playing, and if so in what way?
We have a cup of tea/coffee after each session and have a chat about everything you could imagine.
The group include supporters of Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Burnley so the football discussions are very lively.
We have had social nights, including Curry nights out with our partners which have been good fun and I have all made lots of new friends.
I have also met quite a few old footballing friends from the past who I haven't seen for many years.
We entered a team on 'Eggheads' a quiz show on Channel 4 which was filmed and will be shown on TV in October. It was great fun just to experience the show.
Having spoken to many Walking Footballers from our team and others it is clear that there are quite a few people at my age who have 'lost' their partner and have been extremely lonely and depressed.
Walking Football have given them the opportunity to meet new friends and has helped them with their battle with depression.
11) What are your best and worst memories of playing Walking Football?
I have good memories from every session that I play, the banter is excellent and the standard of football from everyone has improved so much during the 15 months I have been playing.
I am very competitive so I love the Greater Manchester over 65's competitions and other competitions.
I have no bad memories, all is good.
12) How else has playing Walking Football affected your life?
Great talking points when I'm out with friends and family, whilst probably boring them all.
Something amusing: A few weeks ago our family had 3 man of the match trophies in one week, me and two of my grandsons, great fun, my grandsons loved it ( I suppose that I did as well)
13) What do you like most about Walking Football?
I love the fact that I am playing football at the age of 71 when I thought I had stopped playing football over 40 years ago.
Excellent banter with the guys and playing competitive football.
14) What do you like least about Walking Football?
I think that the FA could do a lot more in coordinating the WF rules and WF competitions in the UK.
This is a fast growing sport and needs support and guidance from the top.
15) What are your goals for the future when playing Walking Football?
To keep on playing until I'm in my 80's and to keep having fun.
16) Anything else you'd like to share?
Walking Football helps the ever growing number of over 50's to keep fit and healthy which reduces the demand on the NHS, achieving significant government financial saving.
Therefore financial investment needs to be put into Walking Football.
Walking Football is a rapidly growing sport and the FA need to give it full support with funding, organisation, and communication.
The FA should help to provide, train and fund the provision of referees in walking football.
It is difficult for over 65's to compete against over 50's therefore we should have more competitions for over 65's.
If a National League is formed there should be an over 50's and an over 65's and should be regionalised into Counties across the UK.
There needs to be a defibrllator at each venue where walking football takes place.
I love the game and look forward to playing every week so I'm disappointed not playing walking football when I go on holiday, having said that I was invited to play a game a few weeks ago when I was on holiday in Spain and now I have a new set of friends over there and have an open invite to play next time I'm over there.