A new sport to help people get fit and still pursue a passion for the beautiful game has been launched by Clarets legend Willie Irvine.

The former professional footballer has officially kicked off Burnley Leisure’s walking football sessions in a bid to get older players, as well as novices, back on the pitch.

Walking football is exactly as it sounds – a standard game of indoor football where participants can only walk, instead of run.

Michelle Grimes, events and funding officer at Burnley Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be offering this new activity in Burnley, giving people the chance to get back into football.

“When people first hear about walking football, they assume that it will be played at a snail’s pace and lack the excitement of the traditional game, but they are usually in for a pleasant surprise.

“The sessions include skills development and help build confidence in a friendly environment.”

The key aim is to help adults get fit and maintain an active lifestyle, no matter what their age, weight, fitness levels or ability.

Run at St Peter’s Leisure Centre, the weekly sessions are seen to be a fundamental tool in addressing players’ health issues such as lowering heart rate, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, whilst increasing mobility, muscle strength and cardio fitness.

Walking football also offers social benefits. Participants can meet new faces, socialise during the game and make new friends.

The kick-about sessions are taking place every Friday between 10am and 11am.

They are priced £3.50 each and are delivered by Burnley Leisure’s Get in2 and Healthy Lifestyles teams.

For more information about walking football please contact Get in2 team on 01282 477167 or email getin2@burnley.gov.uk.

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