1. Can you start by telling us about your background? For example, whether you were a sporty person when you were young, and how long did it take you to become interested in Walking Football?
Steve: Played football at school of course, after leaving school local football, till I got married at 20, then had to work most weekends, moved to Holland at 25 after applying for a job, then played indoor football. A friend of mine was doing short triathlons so I started to join in, ending with a full triathlon in 1991 (12:12:48) then played local football till I was about 45.
2. Why do you think Walking Football would be interesting to play?
Steve: Walking football is ideal for people of my age, don’t like jogging or walking long distances, I bike now and then but you can’t beat kicking a football.
3. How did you first get involved in Walking Football in the past?
Steve: My local club Telstar posted in the local paper 4 years ago advertisement if any 60 plussers where interested in walking football.
4. How many times a week do you participate in Walking Football sessions (before the pandemic)?
Steve: At Telstar every Wednesday afternoon from 13:30 till 15:00 only have had 3 trainings cancelled in 4 years, 2 times for lightning and once because it was to hot, I also train at DEM in Beverwijk on a Thursday 13:00 till 14:15.
5. Have you completed a first aid training?
Steve: Had a first aid course at work.
6. What are you currently doing in your training sessions that you think is important to avoid injury and require additional safety precautions due to your medical condition?
Steve: We start with a good warming up stretching and exercises before we have a game.
7. Have you felt fitter and healthier since you started Walking Football and if so, in what ways?
Steve: I feel mentally and physically better, I enjoy every minute.
8. Has your social life changed since you started playing, and if so, how?
Steve: It’s something to look forward to every week, my wife and children have come now and then to watch.
9. If you had not become involved in and had not played with Walking Football, how would your life look different?
Steve: As I said earlier, not keen jogger or walker so not sure what I would be doing.
10. Describe the buzz you get when you get the chance to play a team sport again.
Steve: Kicking a ball is the best buzz, most weekends watch grand-kids playing.
11. Have you played competitive Walking Football and, if so, in which tournaments / leagues?
Steve: Before Pandemic, played a few tournaments, also against ex Dutch internationals and a team of the Dutch parliament, and we won the world harbour tournament in Rotterdam 2 years ago.
12. Has your diet changed since you started Walking Football? If so, what’s different?
Steve: Like food to much to alter my diet.
13. Can you describe any injuries you have sustained while playing Walking Football and let readers know how they were caused?
Steve: I have had no injuries, my knees ache after a training but that is old age, but we have had new players join us and at there first training have had pulled muscles, not realising how fit we are.
14. What are your best and worst memories of playing Walking Football?
Steve: Best was when my grandson (11) joined in a training, not had a bad moment.
15. What do you like most about Walking Football?
Steve: Kicking a ball with the rest of the club.
16. What do you like least about Walking Football?
Steve: No dislikes.
17. Do you find it difficult NOT to run and what advice could you give someone to keep walking pace?
Steve: It is difficult not to run, but when you get to 60+ you have no choice, you get used to it.
18. What are your goals for the future when you play Walking Football?
Steve: Hope to keep playing as long as possible, I am 66 and our oldest player is 86, it is inspiring to see him joining in.
19. What advice would you give to someone eager to play but nervous about approaching a club or attending a Walking Football session for the first time?
Steve: Anybody that has played football will love it, everybody plays at there own tempo and if you want a time out at any time you take one.
20. How do your friends and family feel about your return to sports at your age?
Steve: Wife, kids, grand-kids love it. Any tournament close by, they come and watch.
21. What are the costs involved in order for you to play Walking Football for footwear, kit and weekly session fees?
Steve: We get a summer and winter kit and a rain jacket from Telstar and we also get a season ticket, we use the showers and players home after the training for coffee and biscuits and train every Wednesday all year round, for 20 euros a month.
22. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Steve: All I can say is try it, you will love it, play at your own pace, take you time, just enjoy.