Walking football club scores funding from Thirteen

Funding from Thirteen is helping sport enthusiasts across Teesside get active and enjoy walking football.

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26 Aug 2021

Funding from Thirteen is helping sport enthusiasts across Teesside get active and enjoy walking football.

Tees Valley Walking Football Club has received £1,500 from Thirteen’s community fund to go towards pitch fees and purchasing football kits for each player.

The football club trains in Middlesbrough every Monday and Thursday and includes men aged 50+ who are looking to boost their fitness and wellbeing.

With 32 players currently signed up, club secretary Andrew Charlesworth hopes that the funding from Thirteen will help to attract even more local people to give the sport a try.

He said: “The funding has come at a great time because it will help us encourage more people to get involved in walking football as lockdown restrictions ease.

“Sport activities play an important role in physical and mental health, so we set up a walking football club as a way for people to make new friends and enjoy exercising, no matter their ability or fitness level.”

Thirteen’s community fund supports groups which make a positive contribution in their neighbourhoods. Applications for funding are welcome from a range of organisations including community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and residents’ associations.

Terry Riley, customer involvement co-ordinator at Thirteen, said: “It’s fantastic to see people in our neighbourhoods come together and share their passion for football, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the club through our community fund.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing how the funding will help people in our local area to get active, meet new people and boost their wellbeing.

A group of Thirteen’s involved customers meet to decide which applications to fund.

Jim Scollen, customer stream lead for Thirteen’s community fund, said: “Customers were really impressed with the funding application from Tees Valley Walking Football Club.

“When we looked through recent applications for the community fund, Tees Valley Walking Football Club stood out to us because of the inclusive environment they’ve created for people to get involved in sport activities.”

Tees Valley Walking Football Club trains each week at Goals and competes in tournaments with other walking football clubs around the country.

The game is designed for people later in life and is played on a 5-a-side pitch at a slower pace, which reduces the chance of injury.

Andrew continued: “After a challenging year, meeting each week has given our players something to look forward to. It’s a brilliant atmosphere when we get together and everyone can go at their own pace – as long as there’s no running!

“We’re really grateful to Thirteen for the funding, which will help us continue to provide a platform for people from all backgrounds to improve their health and fitness, with support from others in the team.”

For more information about Tees Valley Walking Football Club, visit https://www.facebook.com/TeesValleyWalkingFC/.

Further details about Thirteen’s community found can be found at https://www.thirteengroup.co.uk/page/community-fund.