Players descend on Limerick for footie tournament without the sweat

The Republic of Ireland Walking Football over-65s team. Photo: ROIWFA/Facebook.

MORE than 200 footie fanatics will descend on Limerick this August, but they won’t be rushing anywhere fast.

The Republic of Ireland Walking Football Association (ROIWFA) is holding a festival of Walking Football at the University of Limerick campus.

Walking Football is a slower form of the sport, played by older men (50 years and up) and women (40 years and up), which has proven health benefits, both physical and mental, in getting players out and  about.

It’s hoped that the widespread adoption of this sport in Ireland will help counter the ill-effects of ageing, organisers have said.

The inter-provincial tournament, the first of its kind in Ireland, is planned to take place on Saturday August 24 at the University of Limerick.

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It will bring together 20 teams, including three women’s teams, with the remainder men’s teams from the four provinces and Dublin spread across various age groups (over 50s, over 60s, and over 70s).

The organisers have also invited teams from the UK Irish diaspora, including London Irish, Midlands Irish, and North and South UK Irish teams. Almost 200 players are expected to take part across the tournament.

ROIWFA aims to help promote the sport throughout Ireland and, in so doing, contribute to improvements in the health and wellbeing of the older population.

Spectators are welcome to attend the evenly-paced event free of charge, and are invited to spectate at the 3G all-weather GAA pitch at the University of Limerick’s Castletroy campus between 10:30am and 5pm on August 24.