Glasgow Green was a hive of activity last weekend as Walking Football Scotland held their annual Walking Football Scottish Cup and Festival attracting over 600 participants from across Scotland.
Walking Football Scotland, the Charitable organisation which leads the development of the game, delivered the event with support from Glasgow Sport and The Scottish Football Partnership Trust. For the first time the event offered both competitive and non-competitive elements where teams participated in either the Scottish Cup competitive event or the friendly festival.
On the day 32 teams competed in the Scottish Cup which was lifted by Gretna FC 2008 who beat Ayr United Somerset in the final.
They were presented the trophy by Walking Football Scotland Patron and former Women’s World Cup winner Rose Reilly.
The non-competitive Festival saw 22 teams taking part with various ‘celebrity’ teams including BBC Sportsound, Clyde Superscoreboard, Govan Salvation Army, SAMH and WFS charity partners, Prostate Cancer UK.
A Fair Play Festival Award was presented to far travelled Inverness CT.
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell attended the event and said: “Football participation is a key focus for the Scottish FA and it’s vitally important that we’re involved in days like this.
“Through our staff that work tirelessly in the regions across Scotland, walking football is something that we, as an association, are keen to promote.
“Our staff work closely with Walking Football Scotland to improve participation and get the message out there that it’s a great way to not only keep active but there are some great social elements to it which make it a really fun environment to be involved in.”
Head of Football Development, Andy Gould said: “To have so many people attending the event at Glasgow Green shows the great interest that exists in Scotland for walking football.
“It is a brilliant concept and one that is huge part of our Football Development strategy at the Scottish FA.
“Saturday’s event was a tremendous showcase for the initiative and allowed many people to enjoy the game in a friendly environment.
“There are a large number of walking football groups in Scotland that regularly reap the benefits of playing and the hope going forward is that more people are introduced and it continues to flourish.”
Walking Football Scotland Chairman Gary McLaughlin said: “We were absolutely delighted with the event.
“We had over 600 people on Glasgow Green, engaged and active through walking football.
"Everything was so good, weather was fantastic, the competition although keen was played in an exceptionally sporting temperament and the non-competitive Festival was walking football at its best.
"The challenge will be trying to better it next year.”
Football Participation Officer of Glasgow Sport & Walking Football Scotland Trustee, Matt Ramsay said: “We doubled the numbers from last year of players taking part and Walking Football in Scotland is growing stronger constantly.
“Walking Football is changing lives and is having huge impacts on families as it helps with physical, mental and social needs of participants.
“You are never too old to take part and this is evident that there have been players in their twenties with health concerns now back playing the game they love, to then the complete opposite end with players in their 80’s getting their boots on again.
“This really is a game for all.”