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New signings needed for Claremont's walking football club

THE transfer window has closed but the Claremont Centre's still searching for new signings for its walking football club.

The weekly walking football sessions at Age UK Warwickshire's community hub form part of Rugby Borough Council's new Active Ageing Rugby project, which has secured a £2,723 grant from Sport England.

The project aims to encourage the over 50s to get involved in social, sporting activities, with walking football taking place at the Clifton Road centre's Betts Hall every Wednesday from 10.30am to 11.30am.

Walking footballWalking football gives senior players the chance to re-engage with the beautiful game. Played at a walking pace, the rules prevent players from running and kicking the ball above head height.

Kathy Young, manager of the Claremont Centre, said the sessions were proving popular but new players were welcome.

"The initial feedback we have received has been very positive," Kathy added.

"Some players have been introduced to the game with little or no experience. Others have been lifelong fans and players of the sport, but due to injury or age felt unable to continue playing.

"We're so happy to be able to offer walking football and to see many new faces and friendships being formed. New signings would be very welcome."

Jim Murphy, a volunteer gardener at the Claremont who has signed up for the walking football sessions, said: "It's just wonderful to have the opportunity to be playing football at the age of 73.

"I never thought I would get the chance to play again."

In addition to the walking football sessions, Active Ageing Rugby currently runs sport sessions for tenants at council sheltered housing complexes.

Cllr Sebastian Lowe, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The council's sports development team works to encourage all ages to exercise and take part in sporting activities.

"In addition to the obvious health and fitness benefits of taking regular exercise, physical activity can also combat social isolation and have a positive impact on mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

"With the support of Sport England, Active Ageing Rugby has increased the opportunities for over 50s in the borough to take part in sport."

For more information about the walking football sessions and Active Ageing Rugby, email or call (01788) 533533.

Photo caption: (left to right) Jim Murphy, Claremont Centre manager Kathy Young, Tom Allen, Rugby Borough Council's sports development officer, council community sports coach Danny Mistry, Jim Boyes and John Littleton warm up for a walking football session at the Claremont.

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