Brokering a relationship in Basildon, Southend United Football Club established a weekly walking football session to encourage men and women, aged 50+ to stay active, and meet others from their local area.
After talking to the already formed group ‘Senior Shrimpers’, who meet regularly at the football stadium to socialise, they voiced that they would enjoy a walking football group to increase their physical activity levels and boost their social wellbeing.
The walking football sessions have been based at Eversley Leisure Centre, which has provided the opportunity for those that do not live near the football stadium to attend. Over the course of the development of this project, it has become so popular that an additional session has been set up in Southend to ensure everyone can be catered for across the locations.
Active Essex have supported the project through offering funding to allow the sessions to be accessed for free, in turn reducing a significant barrier for many in the local area.
As a result of the project, it has allowed Southend United Football club to meet and work with new people outside of their normal delivery and been able to offer participants further opportunities to engage with others and remain active. Most recently, this has included the Senior Shrimpers Café, encouraging participants to socialise and share common interests.