After positive responses from four trial games, the walking football pilot program will return at Lake Macquarie Regional Sports Facility in Speers Point. 

Players 50 years old and up are being encouraged to take part in the relaxed five-a-side format but anyone is allowed to participate.

The social games are aimed at providing physical and social exercise for people who have limited mobility, are recovering from injury or are just beginning to play the sport.

NNSW Football’s Senior Officer for Community Football, Ross Hicks says players can sign up before the season kicks off on Monday night at 6pm.

He says there are two main rules that differ from standard football: you must have one foot on the ground at all times, and the ball cannot be played at above the shoulders, meaning no headers or bicycle kicks.

“Anyone is really welcome to participate, it was aimed at the older generation to provide a form of the game that they can be involved in, especially those who cannot run anymore,” he explained.

Mr Hicks says, “at the end of the day anyone who may be coming back from an injury or hasn’t played in a long time can certainly be involved in the game.”

The slower paced game is designed to offer a low impact alternative to stay fit and socially connected with people.

Ross Hicks says, “this form of football provides an avenue for the older generation to be involved in a sport or physical activity in a social setting. This is very much a social football league,”

“its not competitive, it brings people together in an environment where they can have a chat and stay active,” he says.