By Abraham Abraham

    If you want to play football but your body isn’t quite up for running then maybe Walking Football is for you.

    Walking Football is a national game which began in the UK about a decade ago, however in Victoria we focus on health, social connection and football in that order. 

    Our program reaches 20 areas across Victoria with hub leaders coaching sessions for players of all ages. At the moment our youngest player is 48 and our oldest is 87.

    My role is to assist the current programs but to also identify new regions that might benefit from the program. We support by providing equipment, running introductory sessions, and then identifying a key facilitator (hub leader) locally to continue the program.

    Programs such as Whittlesea U3A and Maccabi have been around for up to seven years providing a local program for seniors to play through and build social cohesion. 

    Our program allows locals to participate in a social group that travels across Victoria to play other hubs and offers a safe and supportive environment for social connection with opportunities to catch up for lunch after a game of footy.

    Our western programs across Brimbank, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wyndham and Hobsons Bay attract participants from a diverse range of cultures often speaking many different languages. But through the universal language of football everyone, regardless of language, age, or ability can get together to and share their stories.

    Our Hobsons Bay and Brimbank programs have a high number of women participants that have never played football before but now come along every week to play and enjoy the game while also building friendship.

    Come down and join a session as our programs are free. Make a friend or be a part of a social group that promotes health. In the near future we are introducing Walking Football for people with Parkinson’s to be even more inclusive for folks with different abilities. The program has helped participants to not only learn new skills but improve on their health, learn about their peers’ culture and also to share theirs. 

    To find your local Hub please contact Abraham from Football Victoria on 0403335888.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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