St Edmundsbury mayor takes to the pitch to promote walking version of the beautiful game

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements (front row second left) taking part in walking football as a wa

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements (front row second left) taking part in walking football as a way of encouraging people to get involved. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The mayor of St Edmundsbury put his football skills to the test in a version of the beautiful game to encourage people to get active in the new year.

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements taking part in walking football as a way of encouraging people

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements taking part in walking football as a way of encouraging people to get involved. Left to right, Cllr Diane Hind and Terry Clements. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Councillor Terry Clements took part in a game of walking football at a session held at Howard Primary School in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Abbeycroft leisure holds sessions for men and women of all ages but the sport tends to be more popular with the over 50s.

The sessions take place every Wednesday during school term time from 5.15pm to 6.15pm.

The sessions have been supported by £1,000 of locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury borough councillor Diane Hind and £500 from Bury St Edmunds town councillor Tom Murray.

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements taking part in walking football as a way of encouraging people

Bury St Edmunds mayor Terry Clements taking part in walking football as a way of encouraging people to get involved. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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Mrs Hind, who represents Northgate ward, helped organise the weekly sessions back in the summer and is hoping people will be enticed to get active and take part while it is still free.

She said: “It is a fun game and ideal for anyone wanting to shed a few pounds, get a bit fitter, or just shake off winter blues.

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“The sessions will be free until the end of February after which we hope the sessions will be self-financing.”

Walking football is a version where any player caught running concedes a free kick to the opposition.

It is growing in popularity, particularly among people who have mobility problems and offers them a way to get back into playing the beautiful game.

Mr Murray said: “I think this is one of the best ideas in years bringing the ethos and friendship of sport to those of us who may not be so spritely, but wish to stay active and have fun together.

“I’m very happy to have been involved.”

Mr Clements, 66, said: “I thoroughly enjoy it.

“It’s been a few years since I used to run around coaching Sicklesmere youth team, and nowadays I am more used to getting tackled by my grandchildren.

“Walking football and walking netball are fantastic ways to get out there, keep active, make new friends and of course enjoy being part of a team.”

The sessions are run by fully qualified coaches and no booking is required – people can just turn up and play.

For more information contact Charlie Potter on charlie.potter@acleisure.com

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