This Christmas, PrettyGreen is launching the ‘PrettyGreen FC Christmas Cracker’ - an open invitation game on the 18th December for anyone over the age of 60 who wants to come down to Shoreditch for a game of Walking Football with ex-England, Tottenham and Chelsea defender Graham Roberts.
In the UK, 1.2m people are chronically lonely, with almost a million older people saying that Christmas is the loneliest time for them (Age UK, 2017) - with the agency looking to raise awareness of those less fortunate over the festive period.
Paddy Hobbs, Head of Sport at PrettyGreen, said: “Christmas is a brilliant time for most but a terrible time for some. Especially at this time of year, we need to look outside of our own little bubble and focus our attention on those that might be struggling to cope - be that physically or mentally.”
“By partnering with the Campaign to End Loneliness, and with the backing of the Walking Football Association, for this game, we wanted to do a small gesture to help showcase the socialising opportunities that are available for people over 60, while also encourage those from our own agency to look out for those who are potentially vulnerable this Christmas.”
Adding a bit of actual sporting talent to the occasion will be two-time FA Cup winner Roberts - just sneaking under the minimum age restriction at 58 - who will be playing a half for each team along with people from the PrettyGreen agency.
The ‘PrettyGreen FC Christmas Cracker’ will kick off at 12pm on the 18th December in Shoreditch. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: “There are 1.2m chronically lonely people in the UK. Loneliness is a huge issue in this country, and activities like walking football are a great way to bring together people of all ages. To tackle loneliness in older age we all need to find the passions and interests that unite us. Walking Football allows people of all ages to connect over their love for the beautiful game.”
Walking Football was created as a new unique sport in 2011, aimed at encouraging the over 50’s of all abilities back into sport, and there are now over 1000 clubs participating in the UK, with an estimated 30,000 players now enjoying this invigorating sport.
Over the next 5 years the aim is to have over 3000 clubs registered within 5 years, with 75,000 players.
To find out about opportunities in your area, please visit https://thewfa.co.uk/find-a-club/