Walking football is just one of the groups on offer at U3A

You can take part in walking football at the U3A in St Neots.

You can take part in walking football at the U3A in St Neots. - Credit: IAN MORRISON

The U3A in St Neots in a thriving group with more than 800 members and about 60 groups ranging from walking to wildlife, geography to golf, dancing to discussion, Egyptology to exercise, crafting to quizzing.

One of the groups available is a walking group. The group leaders is Ian Morrison and he says walking football is an excellent form of aerobic exercise.

"During the course of a game, one is likely to exercise (gently!) a wide range of different muscles, while getting the heart and lungs working. It is designed to incorporate the enjoyment of a game of football without the physical contact – although we cannot avoid the odd bump or two.

"The real beauty of the game is that one need not ever have played football before to enjoy it – and it is very easy to pick it up as you go along. We welcome male and female players (more ladies are required) and no experience is necessary. Several members of the group had never played football before and are now very much part of the core of the group. The group leader is always happy to offer a few tips as required.

The group meets at 9.20am on Fridays at St Neots Town FC, courtesy of the football club, aiming to start by about 9.40am, after a gentle warm-up. Play is for about an hour with a half-time break. Players range in age from early sixties to mid eighties.

There are many groups of this nature, for example, table tennis, petanque, golf, Tai Chi, cycling, walking groups of many abilities and the club is trying to form a walking cricket group.

To find out more about St Neots U3A, visit the website at: u3asites.org.uk/st-neots/home or go along and meet members on the Market Square when the Famers Market is on or at Paxfest on July 10. New members can also attend a monthly meeting (currently suspended due to Covid restrictions, projected to restart in August 2021) at the Priory Centre at 2pm on the third Tuesday of each month.