Walking football players in the Galloway area are being encouraged to lead a healthier lifestyle in a new campaign being driven by the Scottish FA and alcohol education charity Drinkaware.
Through the partnership, Drinkaware will gather vital information from players on their health and alcohol consumption, allowing them to monitor their drinking habits and subsequently try to improve them.
The charity will also distribute information on drinking and its effects on health to the players in order to educate them on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and the benefits of regular exercise.
Supported by the SFA 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.
The partnership was launched at Lesser Hampden last Monday with a team of Drinkaware ambassadors meeting former Scotland manager Craig Brown.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell 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.”
Elaine Hindal, Drinkaware chief executive, said: “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.”
Former Scotland boss Craig Brown, 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.”