Women's Walking Football Triumph in first round of The FA People's Cup
The Palace for Life women’s walking football team recently competed in the FA People’s Cup, one of their players, Dee, told us how they got on:
“We arrived at Tolworth Goals for the FA People’s Cup about 45 mins before kick-off time of 10.30am, we are nervous and excited, this is the largest small-sided competition in the country! The first thing I noticed was the lovely matching tracksuits our opponents were wearing, oh no, they look so professional! But as I looked around at my team mates I thought, “well hey look at us in our smart white Palace kits!” We all made sure our shin pads were in place, boots laced up, hair tied back and made our way to pitch 3 to warm up, I was so nervous, the warm February sun low in the sky had burnt away the earlier mist, and was already shinning in our eyes, Anton (our coach) suggested which end to choose so that we weren’t facing the sun!
We spent a few minutes posing for photos passing our mobiles to Anton to take the photos as we all wanted a memory of this competition, taller ladies standing at the back, smile this way, kneel down or stand up – does my bum look big in these shorts?! A short time into our warm up a referee appeared and asked for us all to make our way to pitch 1, we must listen to the rules of walking football… No running, if you do you’ll be sin-binned! Minimal contact, no sliding tackles – seriously? No chance of that, I could break a hip at my age! All free kicks are indirect, goalies must stay in their area, players must stay out of the area, so much to remember!
Back on pitch 3. It’s time for kick off, the sun is behind us, we hear words of encouragement from the subs and advice from our coach, just do what you do every week in training, our nerves gradually settle and we score our first goal!!! Yippee! We can do this! Why am I out of breath? This is only walking football, aah it must be the adrenaline! Two more games and we make it to the final. Our last goal is scored in the final minute after a fantastic free kick taken really quickly, boom Jules scores again… we are announced the winners! We all hug and jump about with excitement, except Anton who calmly ‘high 5s’ everyone, he’s proud of us!
We are buzzing, we rush to the bar for a celebratory drink, we give three cheers to our Captain Catherine, mmmm this shandy tastes good, I look around at my team mates’ heads down looking at their phones… we are on Twitter, Instagram and BBC sports online! Palace for Life women’s walking football first round WINNERS! Looking forward to our next training session as we have lots to talk about, like tactics for the next round!”
Walking Football is a slow-paced version of the beautiful game and is designed to help people keep an active lifestyle despite their age, as well as getting those back into playing football. Our sessions are aimed at, but not limited to, over 40-year olds.
The women’s walking football sessions take place weekly at Monks Hills Sports Centre, Thursdays, 7-8pm and are free.
To book a place on the session click here. Alternatively, to find out more please contact RoxanneBennett@palaceforlife.org