West Sussex walking football group success

A Chichester based gym is proving to the community that it is never too late to get fit and in shape.

Sports development manager at Westgate Leisure Centre, Jamie Fellows, has set up a variety of sports clubs with a twist: players can walk rather than run.

The club that is proving most popular at the gym is walking football, taking place every Tuesday between 1.30-3pm.

Jamie said: “The aim of walking football is to encourage men and women of all ages to take part in physical activity. The club takes place in our sports hall so it is on no matter rain or shine.

“Over the months it has not only been great to watch players build up pace and strength but the social aspect of making new friends and building up confidence.”

Around eight to 16 participants attend each week and players ages vary from 30 to 80 years of ages.

Keith Simmonds, 70, who suffered a heart attack some time ago, was assigned a 10 week cardiac rehabilitation programme at Westgate gym to regain his strength, However since discovering walking football, he much prefers getting fit in this unique way.

The team say that anyone of any ability and level of fitness is welcome to join the ‘Chichester Strollers’, no matter their age.

Paul Evans, 38, has been a fan of football from a young age but since he tore a ligament in his knee, worried that he would not have the strength to ever play again.

Paul said: “Taking part in the programme has given me the confidence to play sport again and get fit.

The gym has never inspired me in the way walking football has”.

Alongside walking football, walking netball, and walking rugby are available at the centre.

Westgate Leisure Centre features a large gym with equipment designed to suit all fitness needs, two pools and a splash pad area, award-winning swimming lessons, alongside many fitness suites, a cafe, sports halls and much more.

For more information on the activities that take place visit www.everyoneactive.com/centre/westgate-leisure-centre/