A group of veteran football players have moved into the digital age – and now every kick of the ball will be monitored to record their fitness levels.
Ebbsfleet United’s Walking Football Team, made up of players aged 50-plus, are the latest to sign up to Ebbsfleet Garden City’s Healthy New Towns Digital Movement Project.
More than 100 residents and workers in Ebbsfleet Garden City have so far joined and each is given a Fitbit which records their movements.
Data is used not only so the individual can keep an eye on their fitness levels but also so the Healthy New Towns can project see what walking and cycling routes are used and if any improvements can be made or new routes created as the Garden City develops.
Twenty members of the Walking Football Team, aged between 50 and 70 and who play in the Kent Walking Football League, will now be able to assess their fitness as well as compete with each other for bragging rights in the fitness stakes.
Walking football is a slower version of the beautiful game where running concedes a free kick to the opposing team and sliding tackles are banned. The aim of the event is to keep people over the age of 50 involved within football if due to a lack of mobility or for any other reason they are unable to take part in the traditional game anymore.
Kevin McGeough, Director of the Healthy New Towns project, said: “We’re encouraging all ages to keep active and get fit and the Walking Football Team are a real inspiration to the over-50s. As well as the benefits of now being able to monitor their fitness levels, they’ll also be able to help us shape the future of the Garden City when they are off the pitch.”
Chris Judge, Ebbsfleet United Walking Football Team Co-ordinator said, “We are delighted to support the Ebbsfleet Garden City’s initiative. The Fitbits will monitor our performance, as we are all very keen to improve our overall fitness levels and to see the improvements.”
To find out more about Healthy New Towns visit ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/healthynewtowns/