Geraldton’s mixed-age, mixed-gender walking soccer competition to return at Wonthella

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
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The walking soccer group at the QEII.
Camera IconThe walking soccer group at the QEII. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

No one in sports wants to play ressies — the dream is always to make the senior squad.

Now you can do just that at Wonthella.

Geraldton’s mixed-age walking soccer competition starts back up on October 15, and the senior citizens of the QEII Roos will be back in it along with other mixed-age sides.

Pauline Stacey and David Vanden Bergh go for the ball as Karen May, right, watches.
Camera IconPauline Stacey and David Vanden Bergh go for the ball as Karen May, right, watches. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Other teams are welcome and with the competition offering a mixed, all-ages format, anyone can play — although the Roos are likely to keep their record of most senior team.

Walking soccer players at the QEII.
Camera IconWalking soccer players at the QEII. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian

The Roos may undergo a slight reshuffle in personnel, but the side will still be made up of senior citizens who play a surprisingly quick game of soccer at the centre their team is named after.

Helen Lumley and Wayan Horner watch as a shot heads towards Ian Dibden in goal at the QEII Centre.
Camera IconHelen Lumley and Wayan Horner watch as a shot heads towards Ian Dibden in goal at the QEII Centre. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

They turned out with two players in their 70s in the squad last season, with the rest over 50.

Football West participation officer Tanya Amazzini said walking soccer was “inclusive, safe and enjoyable for anyone who wants to join in”.

“Walking soccer is fun, low-impact, team-based exercise that aims to provide participants physical and mental health benefits as well as enjoying the social aspect of meeting new friends,” Amazzini said.

She said her dad Laurie Oliveri, who is in his 70s, was able to play with her teenage son, Marco Amazzini, despite the 45-year age difference.

The format is low-intensity, but games are surprisingly competitive. There were 10 teams in last season’s competition and numbers are being finalised for this one.

Walking soccer in Geraldton was launched several years ago during Seniors Week festivities at the QEII Centre, and still runs at the centre on the parquet floor.

The Federal Government has allocated more than $1.8 million for Football Federation Australia’s national Walking Football — One Million program, which includes Football West.

The walking soccer competition indoors at the QEII Centre on the parquet floor is now running.

For more information on walking soccer contact Tanya Amazzini on 0432 523 648.

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