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    Interview With John Kidder

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      Name: John Kidder

      Age: 64

      Location: Sheffield

      Walking Football Club / Venue Name:  Sheffield United Community Foundation

      Favourite Position: Any

      How long have you played Walking Football?

      2 Months.


      Why did you first get involved with Walking Football?

      I learned about the walking football sessions while attending my regular MacMillan Active Everyday gym session and decided to give it a go.

      It was a good decision, I thoroughly enjoy my involvement.


      How many times a week do you take part in Walking Football sessions?

      I attend a session once a week.


      Do you always have a member present who has had first aid training at your games and training sessions, and is there a defibrillator available if needed?

      We have an excellent trainer who supervises the session, he works well with the group of men of all ages.

      He has a kind and encouraging approach which makes us feel involved and part of the team.

      The facility is very well equipped with medical facilities, I feel sure that this will include a defibrillator.


      I am very sorry to hear that you are currently living with prostate cancer. Can you explain to our readers who may be in the same situation, what, if any, are the negative impacts prostate cancer has on you during a fitness session or playing a game of Walking Football?

      My Cancer diagnosis was out of the Blue and well advanced, the outlook was bleak to say the least.

      Initially I was unable to undertake much in the way of meaningful exercise and my physical condition suffered as a result.

      To supplement regular walking I was invited onto the MacMillan Active Everyday programme last year and I started to combat the condition related fatigue.

      I find that I am able to undertake the Walking Football sessions without making myself exhausted and unwell.

      We all work at a mean speed to match the overall make up of the group from an age and condition standpoint. It works well!


      What do you currently do in your training sessions that you think are important to avoid injury and do you need to take any additional safety precautions because of the prostate cancer?

      I seem to be moving around the pitch fairly well, the next trick is to be where the ball is!

      As to precautions regarding injury and my Prostate Cancer condition, I just use my common sense and do not overdo it.


      Do you feel fitter and healthier since you have started playing Walking Football and how else has Walking Football helped you to live with prostate cancer on a day to day basis?

      The Walking Football has moved me up to another level of fitness awareness and builds on the gym work already underway.

      Considering my Cancer and other conditions I feel great!

      The aspect of the Walking Football participation is the increased social contact with other Cancer sufferers of a wide range of ages, the effect on ones moral should not be underestimated.


      Has your social life changed since you started playing, and if so in what way?

      As per my comment above my involvement has added to and broadened my contact with humanity and I enjoy this, we are all Brothers facing a Demon!


      If you had not got involved with, and play, Walking Football how do you think your life would be different?

       Still I think rich and outgoing, my family and friends keep me very busy.

      Playing Walking Football has opened up a new opportunity to meet people and have a good time.


      In which ways has Macmillan Active Everyday helped you to play and enjoy the game?

       Well, this is the first time I have played football since forced onto freezing pitches at School, I was no Ronaldinho I can assure you, my football nickname was " poor johnny one toe"

      I now look forward to donning the football kit and running out onto the indoor pitch.

      I really enjoy playing and trying to get a grip of the game and being part of a team, if only my leg's looked better in the shorts!


      Likewise, which ways have the Sheffield United Community Foundation helped you to play and enjoy the game?

      The support from the SUCF has been outstanding, our trainer, Keith devotes time and effort to encourage the attendees to enjoy the sessions and to maximise the fitness and the socialisation benefits derived from participation.

      The kind and encouraging approach works well and is well appreciated.

      The SUCF involvement with the community should be applauded.


      If someone reading this would like to receive the same support, what do they need to do?

      Bite the bullet and make the first step in finding a local Walking Football team and make contact.

      My experience has been the you are made very welcome whatever your skill or football experience level.

      The benefits obtained are well worth making the effort to seek out a team.


      Describe the buzz you get having the opportunity to play a team sport again?

      I was never a great team player, so this is a new venture for me.

      I do get a buzz from playing and like the high five's when something goes right (usually by chance!)


      Have you played competitive Walking Football and, if so, in which tournaments / leagues?

      No previous involvement.


      Has your diet changed since you have started playing Walking Football?  If so what is different?  

      My diet has not changed as a result of my involvement.

      I became Vegetarian when diagnosed in 2013 and my diet has been tightly controlled ever since.


      Have you had any injuries playing and if so what were they?

      No injuries at all to date, touch wood!


      What are your best and worst memories of playing Walking Football?

      Worst memory volunteering to go in goal, I really did not have a clue, best memories all of the rest of it, it has been great!


      What do you like most about Walking Football?

      The banter, the fellowship, the meeting and mixing with other men walking the same path as myself, one afflicted by Cancer.

      The exercise also makes me feel more alive and gives a feeling of enhanced wellbeing.


      What do you like least about Walking Football?

      Nothing, other than the little balls of Rubber out of the AstroTurf , they get everywhere!


      Do you find it difficult NOT to run and what advice could you give someone in how to remain at walking pace?

      Very difficult indeed, it takes a bit of practice not to break into a trot.

      My advice is to watch the others and match the pace of the game.


      What are your goals for the future when playing Walking Football?

      Just that, score some goals!


      What advice would you give to someone who would like to play but is nervous about approaching a club or attending a Walking Football session for the first time?

      As mentioned before, make the leap and get in touch with a Walking Football team, you will I am sure be made very welcome.

      It is well worth the effort and the benefits will be soon to see.


      What do your friends and family think about you playing Walking Football?

      Mixed incredulity and admiration that I should be trying to rediscover the football skills that I never had.

      The general consensus is that the opportunities for physical and social involvement are open to all who seek it out.

      In a sometimes mean and indifferent world there is a lot of kindness, support and generosity for those wishing to reach out.


      What are the costs involved in order for you to play Walking Football for footwear, kit and weekly session fees?

      I am very lucky in that the SUCF provide the Walking Football without charge to Cancer sufferers as part of their community support and involvement programme, my thanks to them for this.

      The kit is not mandatory, I bought some because I like to look flash!


      Anything else you’d like to share?

      Not really other to say, give it a go, you will enjoy it! 

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