Even though demand for over-35s football (soccer) is in clear demand, and with the average male having ever-growing time commitments, there is concern over their stamina, fear of injury and the qualities of the facilities in question. Consequently, not-so-young men tend to drop out of 11-a-side football.

FootballREPLAY has been created to make it easier and a lot more fun for all, by being able to offer the same place, same time every week along with smaller pitches. FootballREPLAY was launched on 13th June at 45 different centres across the United Kingdom. More than 10,000 players have been forecasted each week.

FootballREPLAY has been specifically created for men who would love to return to football – but in a fun, friendly and relaxed way.

The 45 centres are operate every Sunday afternoon and are open to individuals or groups – you can choose one of the pre-set kick off times to suit: either 2.00pm, 4.00pm or 6.00pm. Each session will typically last for around an hour. Even though all players will be asked to pre-register, a ‘turn up and play’ option will still be offered.

This fun programme concentrates more around having fun rather than competitive football, and as everyone is in the same boat the emphasis is placed more on style and skills rather than ‘blood & guts’ football, such as no sliding tackle; the aim being to minimise the risk of injury.

One of the most important benefits of a programme like this is improving the health and fitness levels of all those involved, therefore FootballREPLAY is working in partnership with the Men’s Health Forum who run National Men’s Health Week each year. The theme for this year’s National Men’s Health Week which is 14th – 20th June, is promoting the health benefits of physical activity and the longer term benefits of an active and healthy nation.

In partnership with The FA (Football Association), County FAs, Sport England, County Sports Partnerships & the Football Foundation it is also being developed with a range of public health bodies to promote the role of physical activity in creating a more active and healthier nation.

The programme will:

  • Raise participation within a currently under-represented group.
  • Encourage more males aged 35 and over to take part regular activity.
  • Promote the benefits of staying active and being healthy.

The outcomes of the programme are directly in line with Government policy and Sport England’s strategy for a more active nation. They also fit the FA National Game Strategy and Football Foundation outcomes. There are already a number of public sector bodies who have committed their support to the programme. Mike Farrar, Chief Executive of the North West Strategic Health Authority, and the Government’s champion of physical activity across the health service, is fully backing the programme.

Source: Men’s Health Forum

Written by Christian Nordqvist