As the most popular sport in the world, it only makes sense that people of all ages should be able to play soccer.
For more than three decades the North Shore Girls Soccer Club has provided a myriad of soccer programs, ranging from their U4 mini league to adult divisions. Now, the NSGSC has unveiled a new 60+ Walking Soccer Program, an opportunity for seniors who love the sport to get out and play.
Jana Madill, executive director of North Shore Girls Soccer, said the club is always looking to fill gaps in their programming, seniors being one of them.
“We have the privilege of seeing so many grandparents on the sidelines of the fields cheering on mostly their granddaughters, their grandchildren in our youth programs," said Madill. “We started to look around at what other kinds of programs were available for seniors through North Vancouver rec, but also other kinds of programs that were available in the soccer community.”
The Walking Soccer Program will be played on a smaller field than traditional soccer and will have its own rules such as no contact and no kicking the ball above the knees. And of course, no running.
According to Madill, the focus of the program is “to make it inclusive and welcoming to pretty much anyone, you don't have to know anything about soccer,” as well as providing low impact exercise. “You're building cardio health, you're building well-being, you're doing some stretching for muscular development, as well as strength.” she said.
“We're looking to start this program and help our 60+ adults in the North Shore to come out and enjoy the game again or get to know the game if they haven't played before.” said Amar Talic, head coach of the walking league and technical development manager at North Shore Girls Soccer Club.
“These walking soccer games for folks 60+ aren't just about the soccer aspect, but it's also about the mental aspect,” said Talic. “Just meeting new folks, communication and working on their balance or their agility and their co-ordination.”
Although it’s called the North Shore Girls Soccer Club, the walking league and all adult programs are offered as co-ed.
“We're very proud of the ‘G’ in our name, but we're also inclusive and welcoming to all,” said Madill.
The walking soccer league is set to start on May 3. more information can be found on the North Shore Girls Soccer Club website.
Jordan Copp is an intern reporter with the North Shore News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.