Sunderland players back walking football initiative aimed at getting over 50s active

A trio of Sunderland players have given their backing to an initiative aimed at inspiring over 50s to get out of their armchairs and back into exercise.

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 4:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th December 2017, 4:10 pm
Brendan Galloway, Lynden Gooch and Mika at the Everyone Active walking football session. Picture courtesy of SAFC.

Brendan Galloway, Mika Domingues and Lynden Gooch visited Washington Leisure Centre to take part in an Everyone Active walking football session.

Club ambassador Kevin Ball was also at the event and took part in the game, which is non-contact and bans running, ensuring games are played at a slower pace, and the programme has proved a huge hit since launching 18-months ago.

The hour-long weekly sessions attract on average 14 players with the oldest player taking part aged 76.

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Gooch said: "We had a great time at Washington Leisure Centre getting involved in the walking football session and meeting members of the local community.

"It’s been great fun and really inspiring watching the guys play. It just goes to show that football really is a game for life."

The aim is to increase people’s health and wellbeing and benefits include lowering heart rate and blood pressure, as well increased mobility.

Craig Buchanan, football and activity development manager at Everyone Active said: "Walking sports provide everyone with the opportunity to play a sport they once loved, or would like to begin playing, in a safe and fun environment."

Everyone Active, which manages eight leisure centres across the city in partnership with Sunderland City Council, is committed to encouraging the local community to take part in 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week.

For more information call Everyone Active on 0333 005 0154 or visit