THEY say soccer is a game of two halves but a match in Letterkenny to kick off Men’s Health Week proved to be more than that.
Thirty players made up the two teams of the ‘Hasbeens’ and the ‘Wannabes’, who did battle on the astro pitch at the community centre in a game of ‘Walking Football’.
Both teams played to the whistle but in the end the Hasbeens held off the Wannabes and the game ended in a 3-3 score. The event was funded by DLDC.
Such was the success of the first time initiative in Letterkenny, Donegal Sports Partnership in conjunction with Letterkenny Community Centre and the FAI has revealed plans to deliver a Walking Football Introductory Session tomorrow (Wednesday, June 22) from 7pm to 8pm at Letterkenny Community Centre. It is open to males and females over the age of 40.
To register interest e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0872191407 or 074 9122761.
Bill Vaughan, Mental Health Ireland, said the event was very successful.
Garry Glennon, manager of Letterkenny Youth and Family Services (LYFS), was one of the participants who took part in the match. Speaking to the Donegal News, Garry said he jumped at the opportunity to put on his football boots once again.
“I used to play football a lot when I was younger and I really enjoyed it, so I grabbed at the chance to take part in this match.
“This match gave the perfect opportunity for people to go out there and play again, to meet people you hadn’t seen in years and to make new friendships. I saw young and old play together.
“We played in quarters and at least three times we stopped just to speak to one another.
“This was never about the winning but taking part. If ever a referee never needed to be at a game, it was that game,” laughed Garry.
Garry, who graduated in sport coaching and development, said sport cannot be underestimated in the role it plays in helping reduce mental health difficulties.
“Sport has its place in society. I have seen that over the years in my line of work. It helps with anger issues. Sport is a mechanism, it is a vehicle to helping a person overcome fear and isolation and it also inspires people, gives them goals and motivation.”