Dual code rugby club, Mancunians are set to extend their innovative community programme by introducing walking netball and an extra walking football session as their activity continues to grow across Manchester.
Starting in January 2017, Mancunians will offer a weekly walking netball session for people aged over 50, as well as a midweek, daytime walking football session.
The walking football sessions, aimed at men and women aged over 50 and those people with an illness, have grown in popularity since they were introduced in early summer and the existing session is almost at capacity, regularly featuring 14 or more people. Demand is continuing to grow rapidly for the slower paced version of football and with more participants joining by the week the organisers have decided to extend their offer.
Mancunians, who are Manchester’s dual code rugby club, have a mission to get 1,000 people active regularly by the year 2020 and a long term goal of being a professional club, introduced activity for people aged over 50 during the early part of the summer and club director, Stefan Hopewell says that it has extended the reach of the club to new heights but, also brings other benefits.
“Part of Mancunians’ mission is to get more people, more active and it is great to see this initiative growing week by week. He said. “It’s an unfortunate statistic that Mancunians suffer from higher rates of diabetes and heart disease than people in most of the UK and we are determined to play our part in attempting to bring these rates of illnesses down.” He said.
“The walking football sessions have seen new people become involved with Mancunians. People who would not have been likely to become involved in the club are now actively involved, volunteering to run sessions and help run the club. Were it not for the walking football sessions, this would not have happened.
Mancunians have also seen that the sessions for older people have provided unexpected results. Their ever growing ‘Mini Mancunians’ rugby sessions for children aged 3-8 years old have been boosted by two new children who were brought to the session by their grandmother who plays walking football. “This was a completely unexpected bonus” Said Hopewell. “Our Sunday sessions consist of fun based activities and they have settled in very well and are really enjoying being part of the club. Last week we had three generations of the same family taking part in the session as they brought their parents and grandparents along with them!
Walking Football and Netball sessions will launch in early January and will take place at Mancunians’ indoor community venue at The Hough End Police Centre, Chorlton and other Manchester venues and the Mini Mancunians rugby sessions continue every Sunday throughout the winter.
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