Despite the obvious challenges of the last year walking football and now regular (running) football continues to flourish, with this year seeing the formation of East Algarve Football Club and a real drive to support local charities and good causes.
Organiser Jonathan Syed explains “There’s been a lot going on this year. We are now playing four days a week at the Estádio José Arcanjo in Olhão, closely observing all health guidelines when doing so. In addition to walking football, we now have a regular (running) football team with both merging under the banner of East Algarve Football Club. Most important of all, we’ve been conscious of the many challenges the pandemic has presented, so we’ve really stepped up our fundraising activities which has enabled us to support a whole range of good causes”.
Walking footballer Nobby Clark explains “Already this year we’ve made a donation to the Centro de Saude in Tavira of equipment for diabetic children and throughout lockdown there were food collections and deliveries in both Tavira and Olhão and pretty much everywhere else in-between! Since then, funds have been raised to sponsor two disabled children with horse riding therapy and we are also paying the printing costs for recipe books that will be sold to raise funds for the Bombeiros. We’re also making arrangements for more items of diabetic equipment to be delivered to the Centro de Saude in Olhão. Looking forward to Christmas, we’re supporting 2nd Chance Tavira by donating €500 for an older people’s Christmas dinner in Santo Estaevo and we’ve set aside another €1,000 for food for families in need”.
Jonathan explained that “Our support for local causes has been boosted by a change to how our members pay, with a third of all monies collected from every football session going into our fundraising fund. So, the next time you see us traipsing across the pitches of the Algarve, bear in mind we’re doing it all for a good cause!”
Walking football takes place 9.30am on a Monday and Thursday for Over 50s, Wednesdays for Over 60s. The normal (running) football sessions are on a Tuesday and the club is particularly keen to attract new members of 35 years and upwards.
If you have any thoughts regarding which charities would welcome support, then club representatives will be delighted to hear from you and can be contacted at https://walkingfootballalgarve.com/