Alderweireld, from Tottenham Hotspur, walks the walk!
Toby Alderweireld can never be accused of playing the game at walking pace – unless you saw him in action at Risley Avenue Primary School in Tottenham this week. The Belgium international is usually quick across the ground when shutting down attackers throughout Europe – but this is not the objective when it comes to Walking Football.
A new project launched by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is aimed at Year 3 and 4 Primary School children who are disengaged with sport. The Foundation’s fantastic schools coaches use Walking Football – which has the same rules as normal football, except running is banned – as an inclusive way of getting more youngsters healthy and active.
Alderweireld: “I like to be able to rely on my pace when playing in the Premier League so this was a good way of testing my skills without being able to run. The idea is brilliant – not all kids in school are ‘sporty’ but this shouldn’t mean that they should be left out of playing sport and not get the opportunity to enjoy the game of football. In Walking Football, everyone is equal as nobody is quicker than anyone else so you have to use your brain to succeed and it’s a great way of including everyone.”
The project is funded by the UEFA Foundation and includes educational workshops that focus on different cultures across Europe. Before leaving the school, Toby took part in a Q&A session with the students about his native Belgium and his experiences of playing in Holland, Spain and England during his career so far.