On Friday, May 27, the Orient walking football team travelled to West London and Craven Cottage to take part in the Fulham FC Walking Football Cup.
The O’s were joined by other represented teams from a number of football league clubs including Fulham, Watford, Charlton and AFC Wimbledon as well as local team Walton FC.
Orient took two teams of players who currently participate in the weekly walking football sessions at SCORE with ages ranging from 50 to 76 years young.
All teams played against each other in a round robin format with the first game pitting the Orient teams against each other – the Orient Reds edging the victory 2-0.
Despite losing their second game against Walton 1, Orient Reds went on a five game winning streak to end with the record of six wins and one loss along with six clean sheets in the process.
Orient Blues ended with the record of two wins, one draw and three defeats which led the teams to finish first and fourth respectively – a fantastic effort, particularly for a number of the group who have not played competitively in walking football before.
Frank Longsworth one of the O’s players, who was taking part in a walking football tournament for the first time, said: “For me walking football is the perfect way to keep fit as it involves exercise, co-ordination and reactions; the games are reasonably competitive but the overall ethos is about involvement and fun.
“This was the first time I’ve played in a competition and it was at Craven Cottage, as a football fan it was an amazing experience to play on a league ground and an ambition that I never thought I would achieve in my retirement.”
Phillip Smith, Health and Wellbeing Activator for Leyton Orient Trust, added: “It’s great for us to be able to offer such opportunities for the group to play against other teams as part of our partnerships with other clubs.
“The social factor in getting everyone together to play as a team has huge benefits and coupled with the fact that they got to play on the pitch at Craven Cottage too is an experience none of them will forget!
“A big thank you to the Fulham Foundation for putting on such a successful event and well done to all of the participants involved!’
Leyton Orient achieved the double on the day with Orient player Paul Browne also picking up the player of the tournament award too.
The walking football programme at Orient is open to anyone aged 50+ and for all abilities. Weekly sessions currently run at the SCORE centre in Leyton with a new outdoor summer session also starting in Hackney on Mabley Green on June 20/
For more information on how to get involved or to find out about the new sessions starting in Hackney, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest; Please contact Phillip Smith: [email protected]
020 8556 5973