A walking football programme is getting people living with Parkinsons moving.

The initiative is a collaboration between Parkinson’s UK and the Walking Football Association (WFA) aiming to offer accessibility and enjoyment to Parkinson's patients in England and Scotland.

Launched in February last year, 15 football clubs and grassroots teams across England have been beneficiaries of almost £6,000 in grant funding.



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This has fostered the growth of more walking football projects and encouraged the participation of people with the disease in active, social settings.

Since the joint venture launched, over 100 new Parkinson’s walking footballers have slipped on their boots.

Premier League teams such as Arsenal FC and Nottingham Forest FC are among big clubs who have started walking football projects, using the sport as a means to engage those living with long-term health conditions.

The programme’s success has been covered by BBC’s Match of the Day, helping to highlight the positive impact of walking football within Parkinson’s communities.

Additionally, walking football events, tournaments and challenges are continuing to surge in popularity at both a national and international level.

Tim Morton, physical activity programme lead for Parkinson’s UK, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our work with the Walking Football Association and we hope that even more people living with Parkinson’s will be able to try the sport and live well with the condition.

"Walking football is not just about being physically active, it can also have many social benefits for participants.

"Being active is so important for people with Parkinson’s as it can help manage symptoms, maintain health and lift your mood," Morton shared.

Stuart Langworthy, England Team Manager for Over 60s Walking Football at the WFA, said: "Since our Parkinson’s walking football project started in February 2023, we have seen a marked increase in the participation and engagement from the Parkinson’s community in England and we are delighted to see so many participants taking part and enjoying football together."

Annie Booth, a Parkinson's sufferer and participant in the programme, said: "I was 54, I had Parkinson’s and in a bid to manage my condition-induced apathy, it was time to try something new.

"I found out about walking football.

"Being part of a new team at Northern Lights Walking Football was something special and I will always be grateful to those who encouraged me to keep trying."

She added: "In July 2022, I was the first woman to be selected for the England Parkinson's Walking Football team.”