A SPORTY couple have kicked off their own walking football group after struggling to find anywhere nearby which offers a slower version of the beautiful game.
Andy Hart and Rachael Perks started the walking football group after discovering the nearest team was in Birmingham.
Former youth football coach, 46 year-old Andy and had suffered a stroke and a heart attack and wanted gentle sport to aid his recovery.
And his partner Rachael also wanted to help as she was suffering with back problems – something she is currently awaiting surgery for.
Rachael, who was in the army until her troubles started, says she is hoping even more people will join their team, which already has some 50 members.
The 44 year-old told the Observer: “We started a walking football group in Stratford as we felt there was a need for it and there wasn’t a group in the area. We knew the health benefits and just decided to go for it.
“It helps particularly with rehabilitation of heart attack and stroke victims, helps towards better mental health and wellbeing as well as getting people fitter in a friendly social environment.”
Now the duo – who have four sport-loving children between them – are calling for men and women over the age of 40 to join their team practicing every Tuesday between 7pm and 8pm at Stratford High School.
Rachael said: “We have about 50 members on our books now and have 30 regularly turning up each week but we really want to help more people with rehab and self confidence.
“The group has grown nicely but we have the capacity to help many more.”
Sessions cost £4 each.
Search ‘Stratford Upon Avon Walking Football’ on Facebook or call 07989356514 to speak to Andy.