The Scottish Football Association has welcomed national alcohol education charity Drinkaware as the new research partner of walking football in Scotland.
Supported by the Scottish FA and Walking Football Scotland, the sport aims to improve, maintain and promote the physical, mental and social wellbeing of older adults through a slower-paced version of the beautiful game.
Through the partnership, Drinkaware will gather vital information from walking football participants on their health and alcohol consumption, allowing them to monitor participants’ drinking habits and subsequently try to improve them.
Drinkaware will also distribute information on drinking and its effects on health to walking football participants in order to educate them on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and the benefits of regular exercise.
The partnership was launched at Lesser Hampden on 23 October, with a team of Drinkaware ambassadors meeting former Scotland National Team manager Craig Brown.
Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive of the Scottish FA, said: “Walking football is a fast-growing initiative with clear health benefits, which dovetails with Drinkaware’s mission of promoting healthier lifestyles through a reduction in alcohol consumption.
“The health benefits of both responsible, informed drinking and increasing participation in sport are obvious. We are extremely pleased to welcome Drinkaware on board to both help to grow this wonderful sport and improve knowledge and awareness of responsible drinking.”
Elaine Hindal, Drinkaware Chief Executive, said: “Drinkaware is delighted to be the headline partner of walking football in Scotland.
“Walking football is an increasingly popular and fun way for older people to improve their health and wellbeing and we are committed to finding new and innovative ways of reducing the harms caused by alcohol.
“Working in partnership with the Scottish Football Association is a fantastic new opportunity, which allows us to work directly with communities across Scotland to help people make better choices about their drinking.”
Craig Brown, former Scotland National Team Manager, said: “Walking football is a fantastic way for people of my generation, who are perhaps no longer able to play at a quick pace, to participate in this wonderful sport and remain active.
“Drinkaware’s mission of promoting healthier lifestyles ties in perfectly with the ethos of walking football, which is to provide a platform for as many people as possible to remain fit and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.”