Hearts captain Craig Gordon praises walking football event aimed at helping ‘vulnerable’ older people

Hearts have given their backing to a walking football event aimed at tackling social isolation.

By Jonathon Reilly
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 12:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 12:45 pm

The Scottish Premiership side’s Oriam training facility will host a celebration of the sport on Sunday, November 21 to highlight its benefits following a lengthy postponement due to the pandemic.

Run by Age Scotland and led by Oriam Walking Football, the event will feature a sponsored marathon and two competitive tournaments, with teams from across the country coming together to take part, including an over-50s side and an over-65s outfit from Heart of Midlothian Walking Football.

The marathon will see a group of eight hardy souls commit to ‘walking 9 to 5’ in an eight-hour endurance event, playing consecutive games against a variety of teams in an effort to raise as much money as possible.

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From left: Gordon Smith, of the Walking Football Group; Lorraine Boyd, Oriam team member; Craig Gordon, Hearts captain; and Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland. Contributed.

Funds generated in the run-up to the event and on the day will be donated to Age Scotland, the national charity for older people.

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Hearts captain Craig Gordon said: “I am proud to lend my support to the Celebration of Walking Football event.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, not least older people who are often more vulnerable to isolation from friends and family.

“Walking football not only offers older people a great way to stay fit and active, it also acts as a great way to catch up with friends and make new acquaintances.”

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have Heart of Midlothian’s support for this event and very much looking forward to a day of fun and friendly competition on Sunday, November 21.

“Walking football is a great way for people to stay involved in or rediscover the sport, but it really is more than just playing football.

“Beyond being more physically active, it also helps reduce social isolation and improves mental health and well-being.

“It’s a wonderful initiative to be a part of and we look forward to seeing plenty of community support for the teams involved.

“Your donations will help make sure we can be there for every older person who needs us.”

Supporters can donate to the sponsored event at www.age.scot/walkingfootball-donate.

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