New team want some opposition

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A STEELY group of older people have shown that they really are still game by forming an over-65s walking football team.

Steel Game FC was established at an event showcasing activities, support and services available to older people and carers in Motherwell.

And now the twinkle-toed 11 have issued a nationwide appeal for opposition.

Team organiser Melissa Keyes, of North Lanarkshire Carers Together (NLCT), said: “People shouldn’t be fooled by the slower pace, everyone is clearly bursting with passion for the beautiful game.

“The team are made of men and women and they’re eager to pit their skills against some opposition, they’re a competitive bunch.”

Steel Game was formed at the Ageing Well with Positive Choices in Motherwell event held at Fir Park on Friday.

The day was organised under the multi-agency Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) strategy which aims to allow people to continue to live full, positive and independent lives by strengthening local communities.

One of the activities arranged for the event was a walking football taster session, which Melissa says sparked a feeding frenzy.

She said: “We issued an appeal for players last week and were inundated with interest. There was an additional training session ahead of the actual event and we’ve now to put an 11-a-side team together.”

Among the newly-formed squad is Ruth Gray (70) from Motherwell.

She said: “Football is known for bringing people together and I know walking football certainly is inspiring unity here.

“You can tell because about half the team are women. We’ve been giving the guys a good run for their money, but at the end of the day we’re a close-knit squad – and we’d be delighted to take on any willing opponents.”

Fellow player Drew Weir (72) added: “I’ve not kicked a ball in many a year, but it’s amazing how the touch comes back.

“The whole team are in their element. You can tell by the camaraderie and banter on the park.”

MFC Community Trust development officer Andrew Gemmell leads training.

He said: “If I spot anyone running I award a foul. Sometimes I need to remind everyone of the rules, and even bring out the book for persistent offenders.”

If you are game enough to take on Steel Game FC call 01698 239926 for more details.

RCOP combines the expertise of third sector organisations, like NLCT, with partner agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North and South Lanarkshire Councils and the independent sector.

For more information call Melissa on 01698 404055.