Name: Mark Leighton
Location: North Ferriby, East Yorkshire
Walking Football Club Name: North Ferriby United Walking Football
Favourite Position: All over including goalie
1) How long have you played Walking Football?
2) Why did you first get involved with Walking Football?
I saw it advertised on the North Ferriby United’s social media decided to give it a go and get to know more people.
3) How many times a week do you take part in Walking Football sessions?
1 x session, Thursday KO 20:30
4) Describe the buzz you get having the opportunity to play a team sport again at your age?
Great fun and very relaxing to be out playing and exercising.
5) What one or two things do you currently do in your training sessions that you think are important to avoid injury?
I usually ride to the ground on my bike (5 miles) which is my warm up for the session.
We have a short kick about before the game.
6) Have you played competitive Walking Football, if so which tournaments / leagues?
7) Has your diet changed since you have started playing Walking Football? If so what is different?
I don’t have a bad diet but I would like to lose a bit of weight.
I try to drink as much water as possible and work as hard at WF to burn off the calories!
8) Do you feel fitter and healthier since you have started playing Walking Football and if so in which ways?
Very happy to find the time for the WF session and to meet other people and have fun.
Happy that I can still play the game and exercise hard.
Great to be able to cycle to and from the session – this is very fulfilling.
9) Have you had any injuries playing and if so what were they?
Muscle aches and pains but no injuries to speak of.
10) Do you always have a club member present who has had first aid training at your games and training sessions, and is there a defibrillator available if needed?
This is something we have never considered but perhaps need to establish if any of the players are First Aid qualified.
There’s a defribulator in the village but not close the area where we play.
11) Has your social life changed since you started playing, and if so in what way?
Not particularly- although my social life on a Thursday is shaped around WF.
12) What are your best and worst memories of playing Walking Football?
Worst is when we turn up and there’s not enough players for a decent game.
Best of when we get a good number of people turning up which makes for a better game.
13) How else has playing Walking Football affected your life?
I have met people I didn’t know before WF and the fact we as a group have encouraged more people to play and with new faces turning up for the session.
14) What do you like most about Walking Football?
The chance to wear football shirts and trainers and stuff and to feel I am younger then I am when playing!
15) What do you like least about Walking Football?
Uncertainty about whether some sessions are going ahead due to people cancelling.
Other than that I don’t think there are any more negatives.
16) Do you find it difficult NOT to run and what advice could you give someone in how to remain at walking pace?
Instinctively one wants to run.
We are self-governing and we usually wait for some to shout out “stop running!” which usually means we stop running.
17) What are your goals for the future when playing Walking Football?
Just to continue enjoying it and stay injury free.
I would like to get a team kit.
18) 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?
Don’t be – just turn up and have a go.
Our team welcomes anyone; we work hard but are not too competitive as to frighten anyone away.
We simply enjoy and I hope that all that partake do so as well.
19) What do your friends and family think about you playing a sport again at your age?
Full support – some friends who haven’t played usually have a jibe about it being too pedestrian - my response is to suggest that they don’t make assumptions.
You don’t know until you try it!
20) What are the costs involved in order for you to play Walking Football for foot ware, kit and weekly session fees?
We use the clubs facilities and pay £3 per person.
21) Anything else you’d like to share?
We all know football is simple game whether it’s walking or running although the emergence of walking football has brought an older age group back into the game, which has to be a good thing.