WALKING football has proved such a hit that Swindon Town’s Community Foundation is offering extra sessions.

The foundation has been running a regular session since 2016, which originally started with just four players on the grass behind the County Ground.

In the months since then the group has now grown to 30 people turning up every Monday evening to play at Croft Sports Centre.

Now the decision has been made to offer extra sessions at the new Foundation Park on Fridays.

James Sims, community development officer, said: “Our walking football group offers an opportunity for men and women over the age of 40 to continue the sport they love in a non-competitive environment, with safety and enjoyment at the centre of our sessions.

“Walking netball was introduced first in England and this was then followed closely by the introduction of walking football.

“Since our group started, and the sport itself, it has grown massively in Swindon, we’ve seen our group move from just six participants in 2015 to over 30 weekly participants this year.”

The sessions take place every Friday, 12.30pm to 1.30pm, for over-40s at Foundation Park next to the County Ground.

James added: “We also offer other projects for adults looking for health information and light activities. Our Football Fans in Training project for 35 to 65-year olds has already seen 360 participants go in and out the doors, with a total of 350kg of weight being shed altogether.”

Members of the Football Fans in Training have also taken part in the walking football sessions and James says it helps them stay healthy: “It helps keep their weight loss and fitness levels at a healthy point, and the majority have said this has really helped maintain the progress they have made.

“The Extra Time project offers over 60s the chance to take part in light activities each week, ranging from bowls and croquet to water polo and indoor cricket.

“Each week we are at a different venue and the groups sit down at the end and enjoy some biscuits and hot drinks together to encourage social engagement which we believe is really important in modern days and for our older generation.”

Walking football sessions currently cost £2 a week and are available at Croft Sports Centre on Monday evenings between 6pm and 7pm and the new Friday session at Foundation Park between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

For more information about the sessions that the Foundation runs visit stfcfoundation.com