We All Have Mental Health

 

Robert Nesbitt, Head of Physical Activity and Sport, SAMH with some of the first signatories to Scotland’s Mental Health Charter in Glasgow.

Robert Nesbitt, Head of Physical Activity and Sport, SAMH with some of the first signatories to Scotland’s Mental Health Charter in Glasgow.

Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport aims to improve equality and reduce discrimination for anyone with a mental health problem and to remove any and all barriers and allow participation for all.

Walking Football Scotland feels this is core to what we wish to achieve and were proud to make the commitment and create an action plan and strategy, enabling us to meet the needs of the Charter.

We are delighted to be part of this video highlighting some of the groups working with SAMH and Scotland’s Mental Health Charter.

Walking Football Scotland is proud to be an early signatory of the Charter and urge any groups or organisations to get involved and sign up to the Charter if they can.

Chairman Gary McLaughlin said: “We are fortunate in walking football that the connections to good mental health are apparent early on and occur naturally within our groups. Signing up to the Charter reinforces our commitment as a Board of Trustees and being part of our action plan ensures we keep good practise and observance to Mental Health at all times.

We share and believe in the Charter’s principal, we are committed to preventing any barriers that stops any of our participants, friends and communities in engaging, participating and achieving their goals.  We are committed to increase our awareness, creating a deeper knowledge and understanding of Mental Health and Wellbeing for all. We all have a social responsibility and this is core to Walking Football Scotland.”

Robert Nesbitt, Head of Physical Activity and Sport, SAMH said:

“Physical activity and sports communities across Scotland are recognising the importance that sports, such as football, are having on participants mental health and wellbeing.  Importantly, they are also taking action, challenging stigma and improving equality for all.  Creating the right environment and culture encourages positive conversations around mental health and wellbeing and promotes social connectedness, all of which enables participants to engage, participate and achieve”.

 

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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