THE BROMSGROVE man who launched walking hockey, which has now gone worldwide, is now hoping to extend the number of other walking sports across the district.
Alan Gormley has announced that a new weekly daytime session of walking hockey will begin next month, along with walking football which is not yet available in the town.
Both sessions will take place on the astroturf at Bromsgrove Hockey Club.
Alan added discussions were already taking place with Jon Miller about walking basketball and with Bromsgrove Tennis Club coach James Griffiths about walking tennis.
Alan is also talking to Stephen Brewster from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Partnership and Chris Wells from the Bromsgrove and Redditch Council Sports Development Team.
He said: “I’m looking to get Bromsgrove residents, particularly older people in the town, to get back on their feet and take that brave first step to get out of their front door.
“The walking hockey has really taken off and we are getting way more offers from teams to play us than we can handle, which is great.
“Now we want to build on that with other sports – I want to make Bromsgrove a walking sports centre of excellence.”
The news comes ahead of a showcase this Saturday, September 14, at the University of Warwick’s Sport and Wellness Hub where Alan Gormley and a team from Bromsgrove Walking Hockey will be demonstrating the slower version of the sport.
Just Get Active is being hosted and led by ambassador and TV broadcaster John Inverdale.
After surveying over 50s in Bromsgrove, Just Get Active found that one in five residents would like to try walking sports with football proving to be the most popular.
John said: “There’s always a temptation as you get to a certain age to think that certain things have now passed you by – and sport is one of those.
“It really hasn’t.”
He added while the results of the survey were disappointing but not surprising, that was why walking sport was so great.”
“It’s sport at your own pace.”
Ann Turton who has lived in Bromsgrove her whole life has developed a love and talent for walking hockey and was even invited to country trials.
She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent a stem cell transplant, which meant she was looking for a gentler way to exercise.
The 69-year-old said: “Walking hockey has been a lifeline for me to get active, improve my stamina and stay positive when faced with adversity.
“Everyone is welcomed with open arms, regardless of their level of ability.”
She added the walking hockey family was wonderful, providing a social element and she could not praise the people or the sport enough.
At tomorrow’s sessions – between 10am to 2pm – people can try out for as little or as long as they like.
The taster is a family event, suitable for children, grandchildren, partners and friends.
There will also be walking netball, hockey, football, rugby, basketball and cricket on offer.
Visit www.justgetactive.co.uk/get-involved/warwickshire-taster-event/ to sign up.
For more on Bromsgrove’s Walking Sports, call Alan Gormley on 07731 369942 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org