John Whiting: Walking Football


Saints Foundation’s Walking Football sessions have been one of the best-kept secrets of the local community for over a year now, but we want that to change!

Delivered by the Foundation at Goals in Southampton, the sessions invite over-55’s to come and participate in a different format of football, with the aim of tackling isolation in the older generation, and improving their general fitness and health.

One of those who have reaped the benefits has been John Whiting, 78.

“I found out about Walking Football when I was down here with my granddaughter, who was playing in a football tournament,” John said. “And I thought I’d ask at the desk if they had anything suitable for me to join in with – and they handed me your flyer.”

“I’ve had both my knees replaced in the last few years. I wasn’t allowed to run, I was putting on weight and my blood pressure and cholesterol were going up, so I thought this would be a good start to get some exercise and some fitness back into my body.”

“I used to go to the gym, but I’m not really a gym person – I prefer to be outside, so I thought this would be perfect for me.”

“After I’d been coming here for about a year I started running again, which culminated in me being able to run the ABP 10k in Southampton a few weeks ago, and now I’m even signed up to do the Great South Run in Portsmouth as well!”

“The biggest benefit for me has been my blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight all coming down – I’ve lost nearly 10kg now since I’ve started these sessions.”

It’s also lovely to meet different people. The best bits of the sessions are always interactions with the other people here. Getting out and meeting different people is really important for everyone, whether it’s with the youngsters who run the sessions, or the guys like us who are playing.”


If you would like to find out more about Saints Foundation’s Walking Football sessions, please contact Paul Hedges at

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