Walking Football participant Richard Wilkinson said the programme run by Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] has improved his life for the better both in a physical and mental aspect.
Richard has become a frequent and enthusiastic attendee at PNECET’s Walking Football sessions, which has led to him representing Preston North End in regional Walking Football tournaments against other clubs.
It has been some journey for Richard since he was diagnosed with Diabetes three years ago. He has since used the Walking Football programme to help him keep fit and healthy to avoid further health risks.
💪 After a diabetes diagnosis a few years ago, Richard was able to reverse the condition with regular exercise, including attending #WalkingFootball sessions with #PNECET! 🤍#DiabetesWeek #MensHealthWeek #pnefc pic.twitter.com/PNKAJxidXy— Preston North End Community and Education Trust (@pnecommunity) June 17, 2022
The resulting benefits have been palpable, with Richard not only becoming fitter and healthier but making plenty of friends along the way.
He said: “Three years ago, I got diagnosed as diabetic and I had to lose some weight and alter my diet and exercise.
“I’ve now reversed my diabetes, so I like to play football three times a week to try and get my heart going.
“I keep getting penalised for running but I’m just trying to lose some calories!”
As a lifelong fan, Richard admitted that he feels privileged to have the opportunity to represent PNECET in Walking Football tournaments, which includes the Greater Manchester Walking Football League.
“We play at Manchester in different age groups with a degree of success. It is competitive but inclusive to give everyone a game and still try and do well.”
“It’s special because I’ve been a North End fan all my life. I go to all the home games and most of the away games.”
“Representing Preston North End is special to me, and I’ve been asked to play for other teams but there’s only one team as far as I am concerned and that’s Preston.”
“I couldn’t be prouder when I put that North End top on. I know I’m an old man! But I can dream like everyone else.”
Click here to find out more about our Walking Football sessions at Preston North End Community and Education Trust.