HomeUncategorizedAustralian Government Funds FFA’s New Walking Football Program

Australian Government Funds FFA’s New Walking Football Program

Australian Government Funds FFA’s New Walking Football Program

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is aiming to improve the physical health, mental wellbeing and social connections of older Australians through a new national Walking Football program, which is being funded by the Australian Government.

FFA, in partnership with Sport Australia and Active Ageing Australia, will deliver more than one million hours of sport and activity over the next two years through a modified version of the game, which is suitable for all levels of ability and fitness, from people who are returning to sport after a break or those who’ve never played before.

FFA Chief Executive, David Gallop AM, said Walking Football was adaptable and affordable.

“The time, location, venues and numbers on each team can be adapted depending on the needs of participants in each area,” Mr Gallop said.

“We also want to make this program affordable to encourage as many older Australians as possible to participate.

“It’s all about getting active, having fun and making new friends.

“In the United Kingdom there more than 800 Walking Football clubs and we’re optimistic Australians will love this modified version of the World Game too,” he said.

Minister for Aged Care & Senior Australians and Youth & Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, said it was a great initiative to help older Australians get more active and socially connected through modified sport.

“Football is Australia’s number one club-based participation sport, now we have this fantastic Walking Football program to expand participation opportunities for older Australians who love their football or just want a fun new way to get active,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Walking Football provides a safe, slow-moving and enjoyable version of football that can be played by anyone, irrespective of fitness levels or football experience.

“It’s non-contact and low impact which makes it ideal.

“Pilot programs have shown it’s a great way to make new friends and reduce social isolation, with many of the participants meeting up outside game times.”

Walking Football will start soon with programs in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT.

Pilot programs will also commence in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Northern NSW.

There will be 110 hubs established in the first 12 months, growing to 148 in the second year, with more than 6,000 players expected to take to the field.

As well as structured matches, activity coordinators will be appointed in each hub to advise participants on training exercises for home which include stretching and balance exercises.

Active Ageing Australia Chief Executive, Melanie Smith, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Football Federation Australia on this truly innovative program which will create new visions and possibilities for actively ageing.”

“It will challenge stereotypes and create joy, build confidence and improve the health and quality of life for thousands of older Australians.”

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