‘Walking football’ for over 50s is coming to Bideford.

Not as whacky as it might first sound, walking football is intended to help people keep fit regardless of their age.

The idea is also to encourage men and women who may have had to stop playing due to injuries to get back into playing football.

Walking football is non-contact and anyone that sprints, runs or jogs while the ball is in play will be penalised with a free-kick. The game is played with a slightly smaller football.

The idea to start an over 50s team in Bideford came from Barry Hughes, who works at Tesco in Bideford, and was taken up and developed by the store’s community champion Sallie McKay-Roper.

Sallie said: “This is a very exciting programme because I believe it is the first one in Northern Devon”.

Sallie approached Bideford AFC for advice and is happy to announce a partnership with them for the initial four-week taster trial.

Peter North, head coach for Bideford AFC Youth, said: “This is a great opportunity for older people to try or continue a sport without the risk of getting injured. Whether you have played football in the past or if it is your first time in this format, anyone can play even if you’re well into your 80s or 90s! As they say, you are as young as you feel.”

The taster sessions will start on Monday, March 2, 7-8pm at Bideford College Sports hall.

For more information or to book, contact Sallie Mckay-Roper on 07514 411934 or email bideford@communityattesco.co.uk.