Any interested Hawick strollers can walk this way

Gala squads from a recent walking football tournament in the town. Now the aim is to form a team in Hawick.
Gala squads from a recent walking football tournament in the town. Now the aim is to form a team in Hawick.

If you are senior in years and hope to recapture former days of playing football – albeit at a more sedate pace – then a new group in Hawick could be your goal.

It may also suit you if you are not an erstwhile football player – or even a fan – but you’d like to savour a friendly, hugely enjoyable form of exercise and all-inclusive social fun.

Plans are kicking off for a new Walking Football group in Hawick, with an introductory session in the town later this month.

Local man Rob Hale is behind the venture and hoped it might increase the popularity of the pastime in the Borders, which already has teams in areas like Galashiels and Kelso.

There’s growing support too for national and international competitions.

Rob currently plays with a Gala line-up but hopes to add a Hawick team to the Borders roster.

They intend to meet at the Hawick Old Baths on Tuesday afternoons, from 2.30pm-3.30pm, and the first session will be on February 21.

“We will be running the session initially for 10 weeks to gauge the interest and, hopefully it will be sufficient to enable us to continue and even expand the session,” said Rob.

The game itself is surprisingly enjoyable and the relaxed setting often belies the amount of energy expended.

“It’s about exercising and having good fun, although it’s not just an amble,” explained Rob.

“There’s a mix of ages, a mix of abilities – and some disabilties,” he said, adding that some players were affected by Parkinson’s Disease but still took part.

“There’s no reason why women can’t engage in it as well. It’s not a heavily physical sport, even if you’re in a mixed team.

“It’s about accuracy of passing and all that but, if you have a good bit of skill or if you haven’t got any skill, it really doesn’t matter at all.”

Rob reckoned the game appealed on many levels.

“It’s accessible to a wide-ranging group of people from around 50 through to their 80s,” he said.

“It’s about being able to engage in the sport, despite, shall we say, oncoming age, or infirmity.

“If you enjoy, or enjoyed playing football, and want to keep in, it’s good for the social contact.”

If you are interested and want to find out more, contact Rob Hale on 0145 036 3730.