THE players know their reactions won't quite be the same as they were when they were younger, but that's no reason for men and women to stop playing football once they hit 50.
That's one of the main reasons why Football Mid North Coast will launch the first Walking Football program north of Newcastle on November 12.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced earlier this year it would launch the national program in association with the nine state/territory member federations.
FMNC chairman Mike Parsons said it was another indication of the inclusiveness of the World Game.
"It will be one of the first in NSW and will provide an interest for people who wouldn't normally be able to participate anymore," he said.
The two-year initiative is based around a social, five or six-a-side version of the code, specifically designed to get thousands of older Australians more active and playing the most popular club-based participation sport in the country.
FMNC small-sided coordinator Andrew Crutcher said they were excited to be involved in rolling the program out on the Mid-North Coast.
"Being in an area where there are a lot of people who retire here or choose to live here ... it's a great opportunity," he said.
Crutcher said the program would be a good way for older people to keep active in a social environment.
"It's a way to keep people involved in football when they're no longer physically able to run or referee or coach in any manner," he said.
"Although it can also be an addition to those things as well; it's a fun way to keep healthy and active.
"You have the masters games concepts which generally a lot of travel, but this one is something we can do here in Port Macquarie for those who want to remain involved in football."
The launch of the Port Macquarie program will take place at the Port Macquarie hockey fields from Tuesday at 10am.
"Come along, have a kick and we'll look at running more structured sessions after that," Crutcher said.
"Bring a team or as an individual, either way we can cater for it."
The program has already become popular overseas with more than 800 clubs involved in England alone and it has been successfully piloted in a number of Australian states over the past 12 months.
FFA chief executive David Gallop is particularly excited by the opportunity this program will bring.
"Walking Football offers a great low-impact, team-based exercise, providing physical and mental health benefits and social connectedness for older Australians."
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