Paul Westley, 67 years, from Chipping Norton has credited the Walking Football session at the Windrush Leisure Centre for kick starting his return to health, following a life changing injury.
Paul had retired to live France when he fell from an extended ladder when cutting a large bough from an Acacia tree. His injuries were life-threatening leaving him unable to use his left arm and with a shattered left leg. It took two years before he was able to walk again.
Having returned to the UK, Paul believed the severity of his injuries, which included a reconstructed left leg and a titanium plate in his right ankle, meant his sporting days were over.
Paul explains: “I had lost significant fitness and muscle strength, while spending considerable time lying on my back, in a wheelchair and then crutches had had a detrimental effect on my mental well-being in terms of confidence and self-worth.”
However, Paul read about the Walking Football sessions offered at Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney and nervously attended. Commenting, “The initial session has led to a weekly ‘pick me up’ which is better than any medicine or therapy.”
He adds: “The Walking Football sessions at the Windrush Leisure Centre and now at Chipping Norton Leisure Centre have given me the opportunity to become physically active again, at my own pace, in safe surroundings and with a group of people from all backgrounds who share much of the same motivation.”
Walking Football is a slower-paced version of the sport and is accessible to all regardless of age, health or ability. It attracts many people back into football due to its various health and fitness benefits and a strong sense of fun and enjoyment.
The rules centre around the key principles of no running, low contact and no ‘over head height’ kicks.
For more information about Walking Football in West Oxfordshire, please contact Windrush Leisure Centre on 01993 202020 or Chipping Norton Leisure Centre on 01608 644412.
Alternatively, you can visit www.oxfordshirefa.com/play/walkingfootball