Walking Football at Club Brugge
In spring 2017, Club Brugge’s Walking Football team played a friendly match against KV Kortijk, by now, the sport has become a great success at the Belgium club.
What is Walking Football?
Walking football is a game of football, where the players walk instead of run. The sport is designed to support people above 50 years old, to get fit or maintain an active lifestyle independently from their age and level of fitness. The programme supports participants to get back into football, if they had previously given up due to age, injury or health reasons.
To date the programme has seen many health benefits of the participants including lowering heart rates, blood pressure, weight loss and better mobility. The programme is providing participants opportunities for social interaction which is a unique outcome which integrates participants back into society by tackling social isolation.
Club Brugge Foundation- Walking Football
At Club Brugge, Walking Football Sessions consist of two parts.
After a good cup of coffee and some talks follows the sports activity. For this, there is a special football variant: Walking Football. In this variant of football, you are not allowed to run and you must play without any goalkeeper. Moreover, the ball must not be above the hip.
Part 1 of the session creates a friendly environment for social activity where people can drink a cup of coffee and have time to chat. Part 2 consists of practical football session, warm up and a walking football game.
Walking Football has never been as popular as today at Club Brugge Foundation.
The team has grown from 6 players at the very start to 22.
In each season, 20 training sessions are being delivered, one session per week. After these 20 weeks, a Walking Football tournament is held.
The Foundation takes part in the European Legends programme
European Legends is a EFDN Pan European Programme funded by Erasmus Sport, a football-based health programme that kicked off in January 2016 and will run for a period of two- years.
13 EFDN Network member clubs from 7 different countries work in collaboration which focuses on developing and delivering a “Walking Football” community programme for a hard to reach target group.
The European Legends programme follows the mission of increasing the participation in sport, physical activity and voluntary activity for people aged 50 and older. The programme has the purpose of raising awareness for the powerful role sport plays in promoting health enhancing physical activities, social inclusion and equal opportunities.
To achieve this goal, representatives of the European Legends Programme have been attending international seminars to date at PSV Eindhoven Netherlands, Fulham FC London, Anorthosis Famagusta Cyprus and SL Benfica Lisbon.
The Programme will deliver a flagship event in September 2017 where clubs will gather, along with other walking football clubs and groups to take part in the European Legends Walking Football Festival. The event will be hosted by Vitesse Arnhem at the iconic Dutch national sporting centre Papendal.