Winchester Walking Football Club open day and exhibition match - Saturday 21 October 2023
Despite the appalling weather there was a good turnout of club members and newcomers to the recent Winchester Walking Football Club (WWFC) open day, at the University of Winchester Sports Stadium.
Following a brief introduction to walking football by Heather Kirkland who is the manager of the WFA South East Region Women’s Over 60s and newly appointed WFA England Women’s Over 60s team, there was the usual warm up followed by some skills coaching and practice before starting a series of short games. There was the usual mix of WWFC ladies and men, as well as newcomers, and sides were selected to reflect all abilities and ages.
This was good preparation for an exhibition match between Winchester and X Saints, a Southampton women’s team which includes some of the Southampton women players from the 70s / 80s FA cup winning side and two of England’s 1972 Legends .
The match was a close fought contest ending in a diplomatic and fair 1-1 draw. The scorers were Barry Poffley for Winchester and Sarah Worsley for X Saints.
As the match drew to a close, the Deputy Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith, arrived along with a break in the rain, to witness the women’s team score their equaliser.
The club was supported recently by grants from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation enabling it to buy additional goalposts and other equipment which visitors were able to see.
A free prize draw was won by one of the newcomers who, having played much of the afternoon, was rewarded with a bottle of champagne.
The Deputy Mayor was keen to have his photograph taken alongside one of the England Legends, Morag Pearce (nee Kirkland), who has recently received her England cap, she is also captain of the England Over 60s Women’s Walking Football team.
The event was a success despite the deluge, and the club was glad to see some new faces showing an interest in the game.
Walking Football is open to men over 50 and women over 40 and is one of the fastest growing games in the UK.
Winchester Walking Football Club meets every Tuesday at 10am on the all-weather pitch, within the University of Winchester Sports Stadium off Milland Road, Winchester, SO23 0QA. Access is also available from the rear of Winchester Sport and Leisure Park.
For more information: www.winchesterwalkingfc.com
Please see below a press release from Winchester Walking Football Club, submitted by chairman Brian Mustoe, 27th September 2023..
Winchester Walking Football Club players are moving the goalposts literally in their weekly training sessions.
The club has acquired an extra pair of mobile goalposts and other equipment thanks to grants from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation which will enable it to cater for additional members and stage more than one match simultaneously.
The club received £969 from the Foundation which has been put towards the cost of the new set of goalposts now housed at the Winchester University Sports Stadium off Milland Road, where the players meet every Tuesday morning at 10am for their weekly session.
The club also received £1000 from the Town Forum Small Grants scheme to help pay for the posts, which are similar to the set owned by the university, and other equipment including goalposts chain and lock, pitch markers, pitch cones, reversible bibs, footballs, large footballs bag, rechargeable pump, goalkeeper gloves, goalkeeper bottoms and wheeled kitbag.
Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the foundation said: "The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners - the Premier League, the FA and Government - to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country."
"Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthen local communities."
Brian Mustoe, club chairman, said: "We are extremely grateful to both organisations for the grants. It will help us to continue to grow our membership. As many as 24 players have represented the club in matches in 2023 already, while several others have attended our weekly sessions and we are always ready to welcome newcomers aged over 50 of whatever gender or ability.”
"Walking football is one of the country's fastest growing sports and is great for both physical and mental health as it encourages women and men to exercise and meet people who otherwise might become isolated in their mature years."
“These grant awards to Winchester Walking Football Club are fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to walking football”.
For more information about the club visit the club website Winchester Walking Football Club.
Captions: (Goalposts) Players push one of the new set of goalposts
(Equipment) Some of the additional equipment bought with the grant
(Team goalposts) Winchester Walking Football Club members framed by one of the new set of goalposts