• Investigating the effect of walking football on the mental and social wellbeing of men

      Taylor, Dominic; Pringle, Andy; Leeds Beckett University; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2021-08-19)
      A weekly walking football intervention was delivered for men identified by mental health services with a mental health condition. Following familiarisation, an interviewer-led questionnaire captured demographic data. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with (I) male attendees using an adapted version of Hargreaves and Pringle1 and (II) the walking football programme lead. Interviews explored facilitators for engagement, benefits and key implementation considerations. Nine men attended of which seven participated in this research. Participants were white British, aged 25-44 years and living within 10 miles of the venue. Interviews identified the effect on social and mental health benefits including social support, connectedness and responsibility to fellow attendees of presenting each week. Distraction, achievement and confidence from playing football, as well as the development of skills were also identified as benefits. The intensity in which walking football was played helped facilitate inclusivity along with a stable local venue that helped accommodate different ability levels.