With the FA Mars Just Play programme and FA People’s Cup already helping many into walking football, the ‘Stepping Out’ plan aims to build on those foundations.
“We want to create a solid infrastructure for walking football, based around common laws of the game which everyone uses,” revealed FA Chairman Greg Clarke.
“In many ways, it’s no different to the aims of the founding fathers of The FA back in 1863. At the time, there were various versions of the game being played. Producing one set of rules and having one governing body allowed the game to flourish – and it’s done so ever since. Our hopes are exactly the same for walking football. Not to curb individual initiatives to grow the game, but to give it – literally – a national footing to co-ordinate its spectacular opportunity to grow exponentially.”
These thoughts are echoed across the game including Karl, club captain at Fleetwood Town Flyers who were crowned FA People’s Cup champions for the first time in May
“I feel it is very important for The FA to step forward and draw on its vast experience, expertise and authority as the governing body of football in England and put its full weight behind supporting walking football," he said.
"This will provide further credibility and exposure for the sport along with much needed unity and guidance to ultimately steer the game in the right direction.”
“My experience of walking football has been incredibly positive and I wouldn’t hesitate to tell others to get out there and give it a go.” - Tony Moore, 62
“We never stop laughing and everyone is so patient and understanding. No matter what your ability level is like, you feel welcome which means you can just focus on enjoying yourself.” - Christine, Ladies of Prestwood Walking Football team.
“My life has changed through embracing the walking game. I feel great, both physically and mentally and it has left me wanting more.” - Alan Wakeman, ex-type two diabetic.
These are just a few examples of the 1000s of people across England who have grown to love walking football in recent years.
With the format already having a national spread, we are now hoping to help inspire it to greater growth with a new vision.
By creating a common framework around the game we hope to make it enjoyable for everyone, now and long into the future.