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    Interview With Richard Blackman

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      Name: Richard Blackman

      Age: 61

      Location: Manningtree, Essex

      Walking Football Club Name: Foxash Walking Football Club

      Favourite Position: Forward

      Club Role: Chairman

      How long have you played Walking Football?

      Haven't played for 30 years before then it was in a Sunday league called the Kestral Rangers in Hemel Hempstead and I was in the defence.

      2.4 years now.


      Why did you first get involved with Walking Football?

      Because Football was banned at our club, so I started a group from the darts league 8 players from 3 diferent dart teams!!

      The committee ok'd it when the heard Bob Cook who they all loved was joining all of 75 years old with loads of leaflets n posters I got a merry band together!!


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

      Sundays 10.30 - 12.00 noon & Thursday 7.30 - 8.30 on Astro Turf at the St Helena School Colchester.


      Can you let the readers know about your Walking Football sessions in regards of which age group are they for, are they male only, female only or unisex sessions?

      Open to all over 50 but sadly no ladies yet!!


      When you play a game of Walking Football do you play to the WFA / WFU or FA rules and why did your club decide to follow those rules of the game?

      WFU with our own rules as we play on grass.


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

      Its the crack of a chance of a goal and the laughter of silly mistakes just love getting those footie boots on again!!


      What one or two things do you currently do in your training sessions that you think are important to avoid injury?

      Stretching with warming up at the beginning and having just 4x 15 min games with a good break in between give us time to joke and regroup positions n change goalies!!


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

      Just tournaments so far as we arn't big enough for the league yet but we will ready soon! and have won 2 tournaments so far so buzzing at the moment!!


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

      My diet hasn't changed to much as I'm not a big drinker due to kidney problems and because my Dad had a heart attack at 55 and changed his ways for fitness till he was 81.

      I've always been carefull on that front!!


      Do you feel fitter and healthier since you have started playing Walking Football and if please describe how?

      Much fitter in the first 6 months non of us could cope with more than 2 lots of 20 mins...


      Can you describe any injuries you have suffered when playing Walking Football and can you let the readers know how they were caused?

      My first big one was tearing a quad (my Rectus) which was done kicking the ball to hard without enough stretching..

      I've twisted my knee and stubbed my heal so I could hardly walk for 3 weeks but I'm back in loving it!!


      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?

      We are about to get training and are about to buy a defibrillator! just sorted out a sponsor!!


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

      As we are run from a social club we have more social nights ie 80s night Fish n Chip nights.

      Really enjoying the crack!!


      Does your club or facility where you play Walking Football hold any social or charity events connected with Walking Football and if so what were they?

      Yes we held a Walking Footie match on behalf of Testicular Cancer v a normal Footie team and only lost 2.1.

      They couldn't believe the stamina we had!!


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

      Worst will always seeing our defender Graham under resus with the ambulance who suffers from epileptic fits, to the best seeing him in the winning team with his medal with 12 teams in the knockout!

      Plus he joined our dart team!!


      How else has playing Walking Football affected your life?

      Enlarged and opened my social life!

      Oh those days on the open road going places like Margate!!!!


      What do you like most about Walking Football?

      Getting Ffotball back to our club when we had an empty field for 3 years.


      What do you like least about Walking Football?

      Putting up with the jibs n attacks on my Chelsea!! But really I love it!!


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

      Try n remember how old you are!!


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

      Score more goals n get more guys involved!!


      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?

      Take your time and remember we were all at that stage!

      Just a little trial n work your way in gently never try n be Ronaldo!!


      What do your friends and family think about you playing a sport again at your age?

      They always ask n always say good things!!


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

      We are free for first session, then £3 and £10 to join the Social Club per year


      Anything else you’d like to share?

      Its all good!!

      Party on... 33 members and growing now, I really want to start a starter group more of a tap around for the older or weaker player walking football light!

      I can't believe its football!!


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