The Mayor of Dudley has proved she is on the ball when visiting a walking football team in Kingswinford.
Hartshill Strollers Walking Football Club welcomed Councillor Anne Millward to their club yesterday, where she tried the game for herself and heard about the club’s exciting plans to attract more women to the sport.
Walking football follows the same rules as traditional football but players walk instead of run, opening the game up to older people and those with disabilities.
Most players at the club are over 50 and it is hoped the Mayor’s visit will help to promote their drive for more women players. Councillor Anne Millward, Mayor of Dudley, said:
"It was such a joy to take part in the walking football today and to meet some of the women at Hartshill Strollers, who are looking to start a women’s side for the club.
"Being active and taking part in sport is something that’s so important to physical and mental wellbeing at any age and I would certainly encourage other women to come forward and try out walking football for themselves."
Local player Jay Adams, aged 58, is one of three women to play at the club and now hopes to get a female only team started.
The social worker from Stourbridge yearned to play football as a child and, despite being told girls only played netball or hockey, she joined Wednesbury Tube Ladies FC when she was just 15. She said:
"Playing football has played a big part in my life and I still really enjoy it, so I want other women to enjoy it too. It’s great exercise, and I enjoyed playing in the same teams as the men at Hartshill Strollers.
"They have been very welcoming. But the club committee feels the time is right to start a women’s section and I am proud to have been asked to play the lead role in the launch.
"We are looking for women over 40 who would like to play walking football – almost certainly for the first time – whether socially, for exercise or competitively."
Hartshill Strollers meet at Summerhill School, Lodge Lane in Kingswinford. People can find out more about the club at hartshillstrollersfc.com.