Festival was a walk on the Green

 The launch of the Cup and Festival 2018

The launch of the Cup and Festival 2018

A fantastic day was had by everyone at the Walking Football Scotland Scottish Cup and Festival at Glasgow Green on Saturday June 23.

Huge thanks must go to the Minister of Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP for her support and kicking off the Festival and Baillie Russell Robertson of Glasgow City Council for the warm welcome and the weather.

The event - which we believe to be the biggest of its kind in the UK - also had the backing of the Scottish Football Partnership Trust and Paths for All charity and a very special mention goes to Glasgow Sport and Matt Ramsay in particular for hosting such a celebration of walking football.

Walking Football Scotland Chairman Gary McLaughlin said: “We are absolutely delighted with the Event today. We had over 600 people on Glasgow Green, engaged and active through walking football. Everything was so good, weather was fantastic, the competition although keen was played in an exceptionally sporting temperament and the non-competitive Festival was walking football at its best.  The challenge will be trying to better it next year.”

Ian Maxwell Chief Executive of the Scottish FA lent his support to the event and it was good to see a number of celebrities and former players taking part in walking football.

A total of 32 teams took part in the Scottish Cup and 24 teams in the non-competitive Festival put the icing on the cake and the event ended with a dramatic final between Gretna 2008 v Ayr United FC, resulting in a 2-2 draw with Gretna winning the cup on penalty kicks... drama till the end.

Players travelled from across Scotland and the team with possibly the farthest to travel went home with the Fair Play Award:  well done Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Netball Scotland put on a come and try walking netball and proved to be very popular

Other partners were there to enjoy and add their support to the event from Age Scotland, Cardiac Science, Prostate Cancer UK and great to see SAMH, Age Scotland and the Scottish FA field a team. 

Planning will start soon on next year’s Walking Football Scotland Scottish Cup and Festival and we hope to see you again!

Click on the image below to see more photographs from the day.

Montrose looking for a first double in walking football.

Countdown is on, ONE day to go till the Scottish Cup and Festival at Glasgow Green. Montrose are sending down two teams.

 Montrose ladies enter into the fun Festival

Montrose ladies enter into the fun Festival

Montrose are sending two teams down to Glasgow on Saturday making a first in two categories. The ladies team making the first full squad of women ever to play in a National event, whilst the men are looking to be the first team to win the Scottish Cup on two occasions. The second double is on.

 Montrose gents looking for a double win in the Cup

Montrose gents looking for a double win in the Cup

Links Park Community Trust was established in 2011 with one very simple goal; to utilise the power and widespread appeal of sport to inspire change. Six years later they out performed all other 41 clubs in Scotland, scooping the Best Professional Club in the Community trophy.

Walking football plays a significant part in the trust’s activities with both men and women regularly taking part in sessions and in 2016, the men’s team won the walking football Scottish Cup at Ainslie Park Edinburgh,

Project Officer Logan Cruikshank said: “The Montrose Waking Football Club comes under the umbrella of the Links Park Community Trust and was formed around three years ago. The sessions have grown and we now have around forty men taking part in two sessions every week. We have a competitive or high intensity session for over 50's and also a non-competitive session with no age restriction where the players are happy to play for the enjoyment.

 “We also have a women’s session with no age restrictions who will be playing in the national festival. Their average age is between 45-50 but there is a big age gap between the youngest at 21 and the oldest at 64.

“I understand that ours is the only all-female walking football sessions in Scotland and possibly the UK. I know many women play the sport but they all play in mixed teams.

“The Ladies recently played a friendly match against St Johnstone which I believe was the first all-female walking football match in the country.

“In 2016, the men’s team won the Scottish Cup in Edinburgh which helped boost the numbers. Their achievement was reported in the local press and via social media and things went crazy.

“That was their first big tournament and they didn’t know what to expect and had no idea of what the standard would be like so everyone was delighted when they returned with the trophy.

 “We are still keen to increase the numbers but the problem is persuading people to give the sport a try. I often speak to people who think they are fit enough to play regular fives but they don’t appreciate how hard walking football can be.

“All the players are looking forward to the event in Glasgow. The men’s team are taking part in the Scottish Cup and the Ladies side will play in the festival. We are looking to hire a coach so both teams can travel through together.

“I appreciate the health benefits from playing walking football and as a community trust we have to evidence this to help with funding requests. One testimonial was from a player who was on medication for high blood pressure and diabetes. Playing walking football and other activities has helped him reduce his medication by half which is fantastic.

“The players are all at an age where health problems can occur so keeping fit is important and they all recognise this.”

 Walking Football Scotland wish the best of luck to Montrose and all the walking football groups travelling to Glasgow this Saturday.

 

A first for Kirriemuir in the Scottish Cup

Countdown is on, three days till the Scottish Cup and Festival at Glasgow Green and Kirriemuir are getting ready for their first match in the competition.

 Kirriemuir walking footballers

Kirriemuir walking footballers

This is the first occasion that such a huge number of players have decided to travel to the Walking Football Scotland Scottish Cup and National Festival. It promises to be a great day out and provides the opportunity to meet a large cross section of walking footballers from all over Scotland."

One of the more pleasing aspects of moving the Scottish Cup and Festival to the larger facility at Glasgow Green from Ainslie Park in Edinburgh is that it gives more teams who have not previously participated in the event the chance to take part and make new friends in the Walking Football community.

Like a number of clubs, this will be Kirriemuir’s first visit to the tournament and their players are looking forward to testing their skills against teams like Hearts, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Saints in the Community and Kirkcaldy to name a few.

Kirriemuir is a small, rural, town with a population of just over 6,000, situated at the gateway to the Angus Glens, a few miles north of Forfar. The town is the birthplace and resting place of the world acclaimed author J.M. Barrie, and a statue of Peter Pan stands in the town square. In more recent times, ‘Kirrie’ is also associated with Bon Scott of AC/DC fame. 

Kirriemuir Walking Football Group became established two years ago and attracts between 8 and 14 at the weekly sessions which take place outdoors on the 3G astro pitch attached to the local Webster's Sport Centre. Ages range from 53-74. Local sponsorship provided balls, bibs and cones.

The core of the group previously played 5-a-side football together for many years and a regular in that squad was former Dundee United and Manchester United player Frank Kopel.

Because of the limited player resources within the town, recruits travel from further afield from the Angus towns of Montrose, Forfar and Brechin and seven have agreed to make the 200-mile round journey to compete in the event.

The team will proudly wear the colours of local junior side Kirrie Thistle.

Good luck and safe trip to Kirriemuir. We hope you have a ‘ball’.

Cambusdoon looking to put the poetry in motion

Countdown is on, four days till the Scottish Cup and Festival at Glasgow Green and Cambusdoon are getting ready for their first competitive match.

 Training session over and still a lot of happy faces

Training session over and still a lot of happy faces

Cambusdoon will be walking into the unknown when they turn up at Glasgow Green on Saturday.

This will be the first time that any of the players have competed in a competitive tournament but everyone is looking forward to testing their skills against more seasoned campaigners such as Dundee United, St James and Glasgow Sport West.

The club are just one of a number in Ayrshire and weekly sessions are held at the Cambusdoon Sports Club which is a multi-functional sports and community facility in Alloway.

Walking football started at the club around eighteen months ago however it was only after the facility installed a state of the art 40mm 3G pitch that the numbers increased to their current level.

Founder member Sam Hornell said: “Everyone is looking forward to the Scottish Cup although none of us know just what to expect. This will be the first time that we have entered any tournament.

“I was one of the founders in November 2016 and at that time we only had five or six and played once a month at the Cambusdoon Sports Centre in Ayr. At that time we played on the sand pitch but now have access to a 3G surface which makes a big difference. It’s like night and day compared to the old pitch.

“The new pitch has attracted more players and we now have weekly sessions with 13 members of the Centre who have signed up and another 6 who are regulars. Some of the guys still work so our sessions are held in the evenings. We can get anything between seven and 16 turning up on any given night.

“The ages range from 51 to early sixties with one played aged 70

“Nine have signed up for the competition and we will be travelling to Glasgow Green by train and taxi.

“We all really enjoy the sport and I would say that everyone’s mobility is now much better than when we started. I remember there was a lot of huffing and puffing for the first few weeks and many sore legs.

“We are keen to increase the numbers and I have spoken to many people but it’s difficult to persuade them to turn up. I think a lot of it is down to fear as they are uncertain of what to expect and many have not played any sports since school days.”

Walking Football Scotland hope that Cambusdoon enjoy their first venture into the Scottish cup and that some songs or poetry are written around their day at Glasgow Green.

Good luck to Sam and his team