3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today click here

Chris van Schaick tries his hand at walking football at South Downs College

PUBLISHED: 11:48 02 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:49 02 April 2015

Getty Images/Creatas RF

Getty Images/Creatas RF

Archant

Chris van Schaick is walking back to happiness this month as he discovers he can enjoy his favourite sport at a slightly more laid back pace

When I tell people I’ve been having a go at walking football, they have one of three reactions. Some people say: “Oh, yes, I’ve seen that on YouTube.” Some people look flummoxed and say “What?” Mrs v. S., as she often does, says: “That’s desperately unsexy.”

Walking football is one of those refreshingly rare things: it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is small-sided football but with the crucial rule that the players are only allowed to move at walking pace. Break into a trot, never mind a run, and the ref blows for a foul. The manoeuvring that’s needed exercises the brain as well as the legs.

Of course, it tends to be played by a more senior kind of player. To put it into medical terms, those of us who now have a little less forced vital capacity (puff) or elasticity in the anterior cruciate ligament (bendy knees) than we had a year or two ago.

I had the privilege of trying out walking football on the artificial greensward of South Downs College, under the auspices of Havant and Waterlooville Football Club. Nice chaps, enjoying their footy and lapping up the health and feel-good benefits that goes with gently working up a light sweat.

My hope is that this walking football will prepare me for a return to the full speed game I played up until 10 years ago. When I tried a one off match of proper football last year, I ended up in the consulting room of my friendly physiotherapist.

“Well,” he said, studying my knees. “I’d say it’s somewhere between extreme fatigue and mild trauma.”

But even if walking football doesn’t allow me my shot at redemption, I wonder if it could trigger off a re-alignment of the wider sporting universe. Walking tennis? Replacing the furry yellow Slazengers with beach balls might be worth a try. What about walking Formula One? The drivers would have to push their cars round Silverstone, as if they’d run out of petrol. That’d be a proper test of Lewis Hamilton.

I also think it’s time for Tom Daley to come to terms with walking diving. Instead of flinging himself off the platform, he could walk very quickly down the steps. They could still give him marks for technique, body shape, level of difficulty and all that stuff.

In my imagined re-shaping of sport, the competitions that are already based on walking would, in reverse, become running ones. Golf would be over in half the time. Croquet could suddenly become an aerobic sport; and wouldn’t darts be so much more of a spectacle if they took a hundred metre run up?

For now this must all remain no more than reverie. Mrs. v. S. thinks I’m a wimp and should get straight back into the full speed game. But that’s for the future. At the moment, my love affair with playing football is a simple story of walking back to happiness.

***

READ ON

Chris Van Schaick on dealing with conference calls as a home worker - The trend for video conferencing is inflicting all sorts of sartorial demands on the slovenly home worker - but thankfully only from the waist up.

More from Out & About

Tue, 09:55

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Mon, 15:30

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

New Forest ponies are an iconic sight, yet modern-day pressures pose a constant threat to the traditional landscape. Viv Micklefield heads to Lyndhurst to take stock of what happens inside England’s oldest forest court

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Austen’s treasures to castles built by Henry VIII, Heritage Open Days (6-9 and 13-16 September 2018) allow you to step behind the doors of some of the county’s most iconic but hidden premises.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If there’s one thing we love to do here at Hampshire Life, it’s to celebrate local produce! So here are a selection of some of the best farm shops across the county where you’ll find just that

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With a vibrant local community, this is a shining example of a true Hampshire village

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people, and many more are seeing the health benefits after waving goodbye to gluten. Here are just a few of the county’s cafes, pubs and producers who are embracing the gluten free way

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking for some peace and tranquility this summer? Lose yourself in one of these wonderful gardens

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The castles and forts around the county make for a fascinating ghost hunt by night, and a fun family trip by day

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When Southsea’s South Parade Pier closed in 2012, derelict and a shadow of its former glory days, who’d have thought that six years on it would be Pier of the Year

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search