Festive Frolics at walking football Christmas Festival in Largs

The teams who took part in the first walking football festival held in Largs.

The teams who took part in the first walking football festival held in Largs.

A very successful first-ever walking football festival was staged at the Weir 3G Indoor Centre of the Sportscotland Inverclyde National Sports Centre in Largs.

Largs Walking Football Group, one of our newest member clubs hosted a fun festival and invited Walking Football Scotland participants from Inverkip, Irvine and Ayr United Football Academy. Craig Hamilton, Football Development Officer for KA Leisure and Scottish FA organised the event after discussions with Drew Cochrane who started the Largs walking football group and WFS Chair Gary McLaughlin, who acted as a referee on the day.

There were so many players that a fifth team was formed from the Largs, Inverkip and Ayr players which led to 12 separate games being played on the two artificial grass pitches.

The games were played in the true spirit of walking football and everyone had a fantastic day of activity and sport.

At a lunch and fun awards ceremony individual trophies were presented to 'best players', Gerry Begley (Largs), Angus Bowes (Inverkip), Tony Fenley (Irvine) and Jackie Boyd (Ayr).  Double goalscorer of the day was David Baxter of Largs, goal of the day from Brian Pitt of Ayr, 'Runner' of the day, Danny McPake (Largs) and a special scorer award to 82 year old Alan Sutherland of Irvine Portal.

Drew Cochrane, Co-ordinator of the Largs club said: "We're really chuffed that having only started the walking football sessions in August that we attracted 52 players to our mini-fest. The activity has really taken off."

Craig Hamilton, who coaches the North Ayrshire teams, was delighted that the Festive Friendly Festival paid off and the day was so successful he is already planning to do it again next year.

Craig said: “We are delighted to host our first ever walking football festival here in North Ayrshire and would like to thank all of the players for coming along and participating. A big thank you to Inverclyde National Sports Centre and all the staff who looked after us, as well as Walking Football Scotland for their ongoing guidance and support. There were 52 players here today, as well as some supporters cheering on the teams. For some of them it was a reunion with people who they played against many years ago. The physical and mental health benefits of Walking Football are clear for all to see as well as the social side of the game with people interacting with like-minded individuals. A fantastic day, I’m really pleased with how it went and look forward to the next one.”

Gary McLaughlin Chair of Walking Football Scotland said: “A fantastic first for North Ayrshire and huge thanks to Craig and Drew for making this event happen. Also our thanks to John Brown of the Scottish FA and the excellent staff at the National Sports Centre in Largs for looking after us so well.”

 Photographs courtesy of John Keachie.

Largs Walking Football Group

Largs Walking Football Group

Irvine Portal Group

Irvine Portal Group

Ayr United Football Academy Walking Football Club

Ayr United Football Academy Walking Football Club

Inverkip Walking Football Group

Inverkip Walking Football Group

Walking Football Scotland would like to thank KA Leisure for their support.

Walking Football Scotland would like to thank KA Leisure for their support.

Christmas Jumpers take to the walking football field

Santa’s helper joined the Kirriemuir squad for a walking football session.

Santa’s helper joined the Kirriemuir squad for a walking football session.

 

The Kirriemuir Walking Football Group is made up of 20 or so hardy souls who play all year round outdoors no matter the weather. Ages of the players range from 52 to 79 years old with Bill Morrison being the oldest player aged 79 years young, who is joined every session by his son, also Bill weighing in at 56 years, young.

Bill senior was out with the group last Monday for the festive walking football session proudly sporting his Christmas jumper alongside a few others as can be seen. Temperatures were hovering just above freezing and Bill joined in with his usual gusto and everyone had an enjoyable session with a special Christmas atmosphere.

The photographs were taken by Alan Edwards who is taking over the organising of group in January, replacing Tony Smith who started up the group in 2016.

Many thanks to Kirriemuir for sending in their story and Walking Football Scotland are delighted to pass it on along with our Christmas best wishes.

We remind other groups to please, send in articles on your group and we will try and use them. It helps everyone to see walking football developing across the country.

 

Hearts 56 Winners of the Walking Football Scotland National League

Hearts 56 captain Jimmy Bremner receives the National League Trophy from David Hay.

Hearts 56 captain Jimmy Bremner receives the National League Trophy from David Hay.

Congratulations to Hearts 56 on retaining the Walking Football Scotland National League trophy today (December 5) at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility.

An exciting final day saw Hearts 56 win the trophy after holding off Hearts 98, Gala Fairydean Rovers and Glasgow Sport West, with only two points separating the top four positions.

This is the second National Walking Football League hosted by North Lanarkshire Leisure and supported by Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire and yet again proved to be a huge success.

Walking Football Scotland would like to thank all the participating teams, the referees, coaching staff of North Lanarkshire Leisure for making this such a fabulous event and to David Hay who presented the trophy to the winners, for his continued support.

The Final League Positions.

The Final League Positions.

Football Legend David Hay presenting the victorious Hearts 56 team with the League Trophy today.

Football Legend David Hay presenting the victorious Hearts 56 team with the League Trophy today.

Final Scores

Final Scores

Ravenscraig League Fixtures for 5th December 2018

Fixtures 5th December.jpg

The final walking football League meeting of the current season held at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility is due to be played on Wednesday the 5th December.

The league title is still up for grabs and with some cracking fixtures left to play, it is looking like nothing will be decided till the last games are finished.

Football legend David Hay has kindly agreed to present the trophy once again and we are looking forward to a fantastic day of walking football and the social gathering at the end of play.

Many thanks to the clubs and players for their support and we hope you have enjoyed yourselves as much as we have. WFS urge all the participants to enjoy the games and to remember the quote from famous sports author Eduardo Galeano from one of his books. “ We lost, we won, either way we had fun.”

Walking Football Scotland would like to thank Nicky Laughlin, Scott Currie and all the staff from North Lanarkshire Leisure who make this event so enjoyable. The referees for their patience and participation and to Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire for their continued support.

Your support enables a lot of over 50’s to keep active and engaged.

THANK YOU!