Walking footballers highlight
opportunities in retirement

When the subject of retirement is brought up, it isn't uncommon for the conversation to focus on past achievements, rather than future opportunities.

But retirement should be about enjoying a new phase of your life.

It could mean spending more time with friends and family, making new friends, travelling or, simply, having a well-earned rest. Some might even turn a hobby into an exciting new career.

But it's not always simple. For many, retirement means a period of adjustment.

And there are some fantastic local organisations out there whose ambitions are to help those in retirement keep active. One such club is Walking Football Forth Valley.

In fact, the organisers have done such a good job, that we set the players an unprecedented and fun challenge: to take on the footballers from Scottish Professional Football League side Stirling Albion

How would our retired superstars perform?

Meet Bob Moyes, founder of Walking Football Forth Valley

Walking Football Forth Valley is a collection of teams that play a slow-paced, low contact version of the beautiful game. It is designed to assist people to have an active life style regardless of age or ability. It’s a great way to have fun, keep fit and socialise all at the same time.

Meet the walking footballers

Arthur Duncan
Age 73, Goalkeeper.  

Why did you get involved in walking football?

“It was a health thing that brought me to walking football initially.

“It really is a brilliant thing. Because it’s taking back a hobby people have had.”

What’s the best thing about it?

“It’s the fellowship of it. There’s different people with different ailments, different physical conditions and mental conditions. For that 20 minutes of football, they’re different people.”

Robert McLaren
Age 70, Goalkeeper.  

Why did you get involved in walking football?

“My sporting activities were diminished slightly.

“I then discovered walking football, so I thought why not combine my passion for walking, along with my passion for football.” 

What’s the best thing about it?

“One thing you miss when you retire is the social interaction with your colleagues. That goes and you can become isolated, so this is a substitute for that and it gets better as more people come in.”    

Drew Clarkson
Age 65, Striker.  

Why did you get involved in walking football?

“I played football years ago and after I finished playing competitive football, I lost my way with fitness.”

“When I heard about walking football I said I’ll give that a wee try."

What’s the best thing about it?

“I just love the camaraderie. Just to get involved in the football side again. You don’t realise how much you miss playing when you can’t play.”

David Hyland
Age 60, Defender.

Why did you get involved in walking football?

“I retired at the age of 58, but I had started a part-time job again and was missing the physical side of life.”

What’s the best thing about it?

“The welcome I received, the warmth, the camaraderie that we have got, resulted in me wanting to play more and more. The ongoing friendships that come out of it are real highlights. for me.”    

Walking Football is just one example of an activity that can be enjoyed in retirement, as our big match highlighted.

No two retirements are the same, and there are a host of initiatives which you can try out.

For more information please visit Royal Voluntary Service, and its First Time for Everything initiative, where you can find out about opportunities in your local area.

Like the walking footballers, you might just find a hobby that becomes a new passion.

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