Message from the editor…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US…
Welcome back to walkingfootball.online, the online magazine – written by walking footballers for walking footballers – as we celebrate our first birthday with this, our sixth, substantive edition. Absolutely delighted to have reached this milestone and very grateful to all of you – several thousand now and still growing – readers for your support and contributions over the past year. Really hope you’re continuing to enjoy your walking football wherever you play, whether in regular weekly sessions and/or in competitive leagues and tournaments. Long may that continue, eh?
Talking of both the social game and competitive events, where attitudes and behaviour is concerned the debate rages on, it seems. The FA is due shortly to announce it’s findings and strategy for the game moving forwards and it’ll be interesting to see what considerations the FA makes in it’s strategy statement when it comes to the social game (and the original ethos of our sport) vs. their input and what they pronounce in support of the competitive game? Where that is concerned, and whilst I personally am player who very much enjoys competition, I was at Wembley recently to stress to the FA that they, as the only legitimate authority for all forms of the game, need to lead the healthy growth of our game and in all decisions. I suggested they need to prioritise the social game – so your regular weekly club sessions – as the prime driver in any strategy to ensure inclusivity.
Competition, from hard experience now, also needs both a firm guiding and steadying hand to ensure safety, fairness and the enjoyment of everybody who plays competitively. There also needs to be rules (with meaningful sanctions) when it comes to the treatment of our referees, in this magazine’s view.
And on that very important subject and with no names or pack drill, news reached this office that a red card issued at a league meeting recently, by an experienced referee, for persistent foul language and abusive back chat was rescinded, by the league concerned, on the spot. As a result, the referee voted, there and then, with his feet and who can blame him (we’re hoping to hear from this particular league and to get an explanation from them!) We don’t know what you think, but our view here is we undermine our referees at our peril. Regular contributor Mike Adams addresses this broader issue in his inevitable fashion in this edition (see WF People).
…the FA , as the only legitimate authority for all forms of the game, need to lead the healthy growth of our game and in all decisions prioritise the social game as the prime driver in any strategy to ensure inclusivity
On a more positive note, Sky Sports’ Alan Parry is back (with avengeance of course) with his take on the social game vs. competition debate, Stuart Russell of Hampshire club, Many Shades of Grey reflects on the true benefits of our regular sessions, whilst we go to Scotland and feature the Dundee United/Dryburgh Walking Football Group for this edition’s Club Profile. Then there’s what we hope is a useful contribution from experienced paramedic and match day first aider at League Two’s Wycombe Wanderers – Bob Myall provides guidance on first aid priorities and a sort of check-list to help us all ensure we’re fit for purpose when it comes to first aid pitch-side.
Finally in this edition, news and views as ever and two editorial focus articles. The first explores our evolving game (see ‘Views’) and the second in ‘Left Field’ emphasises some scary statistics that we all should take seriously.
So a year on from when we kicked off , that’s about it for this edition. Please keep your comments and contributions coming. As I know many of you have, please keep evangelising and keep telling everybody about us and, above all, keep safe and continue enjoying our beautiful version of the ‘Beautiful Game’…
Yours – in support of our great game of walking football.
Mike – editor at walkingfootball.online
Ps. Please feel free to use our content to support your own club goals – all we ask for is an acknowledgement.