A walking football tournament has been won by a local Parkinson’s team by a 4-1 margin.
The match at Swindon Supermarine FCs SuperDome was between Shakers FC, a local team of walking footballers living with Parkinson’s, and SPARKS FC, a team of Parkinson’s nurses, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists from Great Western Hospital.
Spectators included Mayor of Swindon Cllr Abdul Amin, who officially named the tournament trophy the Roger Youldon Memorial Trophy and presented it to Mr Youldon’s wife, Teresa, and daughter, Tracy Hutching.
Roger Youldon was a long-standing committee member and campaigner with the local Parkinson’s group, who died during the pandemic.
Experts say physical activity such as walking football can offer many benefits for people with Parkinson’s including better strength, coordination, mobility and increased mental wellbeing.
It can also help people with Parkinson’s to get active in a fun, social and engaging way.
The annual tournament, which started in 2018, was put on hold during the pandemic and returned again after a two-year absence.
Cheered on by family and friends, the local Parkinson’s Shakers team were proud to take home the trophy.
Both the Shakers and SPARKS teams thanked Swindon Supermarine FC for their support and help.
Julian Farmer, Head Coach of Shakers FC, said: “It was a pleasure to be a part of this fixture for the first time.
"Both teams played extremely well with the Shakers just about edging the win, we’ll need to be well prepared if we wish to retain the trophy next year. Well played SPARKS, you were an absolute credit to Walking Football.”
Dave Logan, a Parkinson’s walking footballer with Shakers FC, said: “It was great to be a part of the walking football tournament and to see so many people from the local community take part. It’s a really enjoyable sport and I hope that more local people with Parkinson’s want to give it a try.”
More information about the new Swindon local walking football sessions are available from Julian Farmer at [email protected] and on 07900 931 355.
The Swindon Parkinson’s local group are looking for new committee members, and further information is available from Sue Grice on 07712 003271.
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