Dennis Whistance meets Jon Whitney on training ground visit...
Walsall FC Community Programme’s oldest walking footballer visited the Saddlers training ground today, ahead of the Walking Football Community Cohesion Cup this Saturday.
Eighty-seven-year-old Dennis Whistance met manager Jon Whitney and some Walsall FC first-team players, before watching a short part of the training session.
Dennis, who lives in Bentley, will be playing in the Community Cohesion Cup this weekend, which aims to bring together walking football sides from across the Midlands.
The competition, sponsored by CPR Solutions, will feature over 100 walking footballers from local teams in the area, as well as entries from Aston Villa and Port Vale community schemes.
Dennis said: “I just enjoy anything to do with football. I’ve been a football nut all my life. Walking football has kept me mobile, I suppose that’s the best thing and that’s what I do it for.
“It’s mobility and friendship. Most of the people my age have got very little to do now they’re retired - I go swimming and ride a bike as well.”
Chris Springthorpe, of the Walsall FC Community Programme, added: “The Walking Football Community Cohesion Cup should be a great occasion this weekend.
“Participation in walking football is growing all the time, and it is the perfect way for over 50s to stay active. We have more than 50 players playing regularly across two sessions on a weekly basis.
“The elderly can become isolated, but these sessions encourage them to meet new people and make new friends. I’m really excited for this tournament as we will be bringing together over 100 players in one place.
“Older people can sometimes find it difficult to access regular activities that are specific to their age group and help establish a weekly exercise routine, but walking football is a great way of keeping fit and healthy.”