GIS – 02 September 2020: The first edition of the Walking Football competition, aimed at encouraging and motivating the staff of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation regardless of gender, age and ability to get involved and excel in sport, was launched, today, at the St Francois Xavier Stadium, in Port Louis.
Some 200 staff aged between 20 to 65 years are participating. Preliminaries were held today while the quarter finals, semi-finals, and finals will be organised on 23 September 2020. The football competition will be played as a pool cum league system and will comprise four pools of five teams each.
Present at the launching, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Stephan Toussaint recalled that Government’s vision is to promote the concept of sports for all and encourage citizens stay healthy through the practice of sports. He lauded the Walking Football competition which he said aims to improve, maintain and promote the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals.
The Minister also expressed the wish that this competition should become an annual event. In addition, he dwelt on the advantage of this sport which allows more women to participate.
Walking football is a variant of association football that has as objective to allow people aged over 50 participate in a mild form of exercise as well as keep those previously playing the traditional game to continue to do so. The sport can be played both indoors and outdoors.
The rules of walking football have been adapted in such a manner so that there is no running, very little contact and has kick-ins instead of throw-ins. While it was initially designed for older players, it could also be an ideal way to play for those with mobility issues or returning to sport after a prolonged injury. Playing football at a slower, walking pace is a fantastic way to keep fit, reduce the chance of injury and falls and maintain an active social life.
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