Women’s Walking Football Festival in Wythenshawe a taste of what’s to come

Our reporter Chris popped down to watch a special Walking Football festival for women in Wythenshawe.

In the same way that women’s professional football is gaining recognition via broadcasters’ featuring the Women’s Super League on television, there’s also been an explosion of interest and participation at grassroots level.

This was demonstrated on Saturday, September 4, when a Women’s Walking Football Festival took place at Woodhouse Lifestyle Centre, Wythenshawe involving six teams and at least 40 players.

The day was organised by Paul Kelly, Manchester City’s Community Outreach Lead Coach, through their City in the Community programme.

Founded in 1986, the programme pledges to deliver inclusive health and education programmes to participants across Manchester.

On the day, Manchester City and Bury fielded two teams each and Haslingden and recently formed Prestwich also brought sides. The emphasis was on recreational and walking football but tournaments bring out the competitive element and some close games resulted.

At the end of the festival, all the competitors were awarded medals by Manchester Football Association.

Tweets received following the games included:

‘Such a great afternoon of football well done to everyone involved.’

‘Great to see so many teams enjoying their football.’

‘We had a brilliant day with two of our teams playing walking football against teams from Bury, Haslingden and Prestwich. Some great football and all played in the best spirit.’

From small acorns grow mighty oaks and there are whispers that a Women’s League may ensue from this venture. Watch this space.

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