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Walking football – a different ball game for Care South

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Six teams battled it out for glory when AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust hosted their annual walking football tournament at their Ringwood Community Hub.

The Trust holds weekly walking football coaching sessions which are sponsored by Care South, a not-for-profit charity and leading provider of high quality residential and care-at-home services across the south of England.

A partner since 2014, Care South backs a host of club initiatives which provide richer experiences for their residents, creating stimulating and lasting memories through the power of football.

John, a resident from Talbot View, a Care South home, took to the field for the first time in 45 years and scored a goal for one of the two Care South teams in the tournament.

Four residents, all ladies, from Fairlawn – another Care South home, came to cheer on the team, join in the warm-up and have a little game themselves.

Now in its third year, the event saw teams from Care South, AFC Bournemouth under-18s and women’s team and a Community Sports Trust over-50s side compete on a round robin basis.

The Cherries second-year scholars emerged triumphant following a closely-contested final against the Community Sports Trust over-50s, while all the games were played in good spirits.

Steve Cuss, who heads the Community Sports Trust, said: “Our walking football tournaments are always a lot of fun but are competitive as well.

“They are played in a light-hearted manner and everyone enjoys them and plays with a smile on their face which is what our community work is all about.

“Walking football is huge within the community. We’ve got more than 150 players playing every week and have eight sessions a week in the Bournemouth area. Getting people to play and enjoy football is a big part of what we do in the community.

“We’ve got a great partnership with Care South, going into their care homes and working with the residents, delivering football sessions and talking all things AFC Bournemouth.”

Chris Golding, Care South head of marketing and PR, said: “Our partnership with AFC Bournemouth enables our residents to re-engage with the more active and wellbeing side.

“Walking football is a completely different ball game because residents can come to the ground and actively play. It’s an absolute game-changer – and been a pleasure to share this experience with them.

“The partnership is phenomenal whether it’s walking football, football in the homes or even some of the special events that the residents get to benefit from.”

AFC Bournemouth run weekly walking football coaching sessions in partnership with Care South. Walking football is a version of the popular sport, with a few small rule changes.

These sessions are offered to both men and women aged 50+ and encourage them to keep fit and healthy without playing an especially competitive or demanding sport.  

To get involved or find out more, contact [email protected].

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Care South enjoy walking football event

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