Walking Football participant Craig Preston has been enjoying the opportunity to socialise with fellow members of the programme after moving into the Preston area late last year.
Craig is a regular attendee at the Walking Football sessions delivered by Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET], the official charity of Preston North End.
Three sessions are delivered every week, with a men’s only session, a women’s only session and a mixed session which is followed by a social hour.
💬 "𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬." 🤗— Preston North End Community and Education Trust (@pnecommunity) May 30, 2022
After moving to Preston late last year, Craig has been supported with his social life by attending #PNECET's Walking Football sessions! 🙌#pnefc @WalkingFootball @thewfauk pic.twitter.com/wsbMO1hkwF
Walking Football is a slower paced version of the beautiful game for men over 50 and women of all ages, with sessions bringing people together in an inclusive and welcoming environment which encourages social interaction as much as a friendly competitiveness.
Craig has become a regular at the sessions, which have allowed him to settle into the area and meet new people, having moved to the north of England only late in 2021.
“I only moved up to the north west eight months ago so before we got here, we knew nobody, so it’s been an opportunity for me to meet a lot of new people. They’re really friendly and they’ve helped me to settle into the area that little bit more.
“I’ve found out a lot of the history about Preston as well and obviously about Preston North End. It’s really helped me to make some friends. The people are just so welcoming and friendly.
“It’s nice that we go inside and have a coffee and a biscuit and a bit of social afterwards where I can have a chat with everyone. That’s what makes it the whole package.
“The coaches that are delivering it have been fantastic and again welcoming for somebody new to the area as well it’s all been really good.”
Craig has also completed PNECET’s FIT FANS programme, a free 12-week fitness programme delivered alongside the EFL Trust to encourage men and women aged 35 to 65 to make healthier lifestyle choices.
The programme includes classroom learning opportunities for PNECET coaches to provide advice about exercise and diet choices, as well as physical activity sessions utilising the assets of the club stadium, with all sessions taking place at Deepdale.
Craig added: “When you stop playing football at 32, you think that’s it, but then you turn 50 and there’s another opportunity for us to come out and play football again.
“I had every intention that when I moved up that I would change my lifestyle and it’s given me the opportunity to lose some weight which I have done and to just play football again which has been superb.”
For more information about either provision, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.