International walking football tournament to raise profile of Chesterfield

Walking football’s first international tournament looks sure to boost the economy of Chesterfield and raise the town’s profile.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 5:26 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 5:28 pm
Chesterfield player Laurence Maguire welcomes the captains and managers of the England teams at the launch of walking football's European Nations Cup at the Proact Stadium.

That’s the view of bosses at the organisation set up to promote the town and improve its economic prosperity.

Dom Stevens, manager of Destination Chesterfield, said: “I am delighted that an international sporting event has chosen to come to the town.

“Chesterfield played such a key role in founding and developing walking football, making the nation’s favourite sport accessible to every generation.

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“We pride ourselves on being a town of opportunity, and walking football embodies this.

“We look forward to welcoming the 160 players who will be representing the eight different nations at the tournament.”

Walking football, which is aimed at over-50s, hosts the European Nations Cup at the Proact Stadium over the weekend of June 8 and 9.

It is expected to receive media coverage across the world, and Destination Chesterfield has made it the focus of a Champions Breakfast to be held on Wednesday, April 10 at the town’s St Helena campus of the University of Derby.

The theme of the event will be health and wellbeing, and the impact they have on the local workforce and local economy. Walking football is credited with helping to stimulate mental and physical wellbeing for the older generation.

Chesterfield was selected by the Walking Football Association to host the tournament because the game was created by John Croot, who lives and works in the town.

Over-50 and over-60 teams representing countries including Wales, Italy, Holland, Spain and France, as well as England, will take part, and there will also be a gala dinner at the Proact.

The tournament was launched by Chesterfield player Laurence Maguire, brother of England and Leicester City star Harry Maguire.

He said: “Players retire from football at early ages now, so for them to be able to keep their fitness levels up when they are older is fantastic for the sport.”