Football while walking brings together more and more followers in Charente-Maritime

Born in England in 2011, walking football matters more and more licensees in France . The Charente-Maritime is no exception. On the weekend of January 28 and 29, on the grounds of the Oumière sports complex in Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, a cohesion course was held. On the program: training for the French team for the over 60s and discovery of the sport for others.

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A growing discipline

Discipline now matters 12 clubs with 17 or 18 teams in Charente-Maritime . In 2023, others will join the adventure. « We are going to have teams in all sectors, it’s interesting! Afterwards, everyone does what they can with their level and their numbers. The point is that everyone has fun » underlines Joël Gaudin, who has been playing for the football club for three years while walking and who joined the national team last October.

The French football team walking together on the ground of the Île d’Oléron Football club
© Radio France

Lucas Bouguet

The Île d’Oléron Football walking team was created in 2019, just before the Covid. She counts today twenty licensees . « It is also a good integration factor for new people who come to settle on the island » underlines Joël Gaudin, also a member of the technical committee of the Charente-Maritime football district.

Football while walking makes people laugh first

An initiation was offered on Sunday at 11 a.m. The opportunity for young people also to test this discipline which first makes people laugh . This is exactly what happened to Manuel Chevreuil, the manager of Urban’ext in Yves. But the 50-year-old quickly understood that it was serious and today the name of his company appears as a sponsor on the jerseys of the national team. He also sees the beneficial side that the promotion of football can have while walking to an older audience. « I think we have to help people who are a bit lacking in sport to regain physical activity. This is my case, before I played football but I can’t anymore today. That’s why « it is important for me to make this sport known. We also intend to create a football club by walking to Yves, so I come to see a little how it goes. »

« Rediscover pleasure and sensations »

For Jacques Maupilier, 65 years old and former player of the Vendée club Les Herbiers, it is only pleasure. « A year ago, I did not yet know football while walking and we can feel that there is a craze. » A practice « very exciting » for the goalkeeper of the France team for the over 60s. « Initially we always have a little brake when we hear about football while walking but we can really find pleasure and sensations. What is very interesting is that it is very affordable for people who have never play football. » This weekend, the goalkeeper was training with his teammates on the grounds of Île d’Oléron Football.


A former Ligue 1 player among the France team

The new recruit of the French football team by walking + 60 is called Pascal Françoise. L’ former professional Ligue 1 player who notably played in Lille, Lens or Saint-Etienne, trained for the first time this weekend with his teammates from the national team. He discovered the discipline very recently. « I realize that you have to walk and it’s not easy when you’ve been running all your life », note amused the 64-year-old Caen native who now lives in Ciré-d’Aunis in Charente-Maritime.

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