The Walking Football Association WFA, the governing body for Walking Football in England, published on their newsletter https://thewfa.co.uk/ the following:
Featured Club: Madeira
Walking Football, A New Way Towards Improving Health and Fitness on Madeira.
Created in the UK in 2011, Walking Football has enjoyed overwhelming success with over 1200 clubs nationwide. However, when Expat Phill Bellamy moved to Madeira in November 2020 with the idea of joining a Walking Football Club, he found that if he wanted to play he would have to try and introduce the sport to the Island as it was an unrecognised sport, and so with his Madeiran friends of 18 years, Don Amaro ( IT support ) and his wife Wil de Jong they set about formally setting up Madeira Walking Football from scratch, a mammoth task.
Phill had played football for 35 years at a decent amateur level and from 2016 to 2020 had managed a WF club in the UK with great success and satisfaction, Notwithstanding the COVID pandemic they worked tirelessly for 10 months to try and find venues to accommodate them and were successful with Centro Desportivo de Madeira, Ribeira Brava, a large stadium complex with a 7 a side AW pitch and a full size AW pitch with the proviso of being to be able to use either or both if needed on weekdays between 09:00 – 15:00. this would suit all possible eventualities. With 6 local businesses as sponsors of this non-profit organisation, they have been playing for 8 weeks with now 12 members (all Expats from all over the world) which is growing slowly week by week.
They have in the past few weeks agreed with the camara (council) of Ribeira Brava (at no cost), to hold WF sessions at the Municipal Stadium, Ribeira Brava ( a full size AW pitch that can be adapted for their use ) this is for Universities for Seniors at which 28 Madeiran women and 2 men attended the first session last week, all 50+ !!, the fun and enjoyment they had and the smiles on their faces was heart warming, but Phill’s job is not yet done, now to try and take WF and more importantly the huge benefits of the sport, to other parts of this beautiful Island, game on.
Walking Football Association WFA
Thank you to Stuart and everyone at WFA for posting and providing your support regarding our progress and upcoming events. MWF