Play it. Live it. Love it! The Walking Footballers from WCSC will definitely be adhering to the motto of the 12th Pan Pacific Masters Games, when they travel to the Gold Coast in November.  Walking Football will be represented for the first time, at the event attracting over 13,000 participants, from 27 countries, competing in 41 sports.

There will be a number of teams from Western Australia playing walking football at the games.  The Wanneroo Walkers will compete in the Men’s 50+ division.  There will also be a team from WA in the 60+, represented by the Western Exiles, made up of players from the Perth-based Association of Walking Football Australia Inc.  The ladies are also well represented, with a team in the 50+ division, and all the teams will come together, to compete in two Mixed Social teams.

The Wanneroo Over 50s are made up of Paul Thoroughgood, Richard Paveley, Tim Lister, Brian Pearson, Alister McGeogh, Paul Vickers and David Udy.  Another Wanneroo stalwart, Garry Lee, will join the 60+ team.  The competition will be run at the Gold Coast Croatian Sports Centre, in Carrara, home of the Gold Coast Knights FC.

Last year’s Pan Pacs were postponed due to COVID, so the guys can’t wait for the this year’s games to start.  The qualifying games will be on the 10th and 11th November, with the finals on Saturday 12th.

Wanneroo City SC has been at the forefront of Walking Football development in Perth, and the players representing the club have been playing every Wednesday night for nearly five years.  Walking Football is aimed at the over 50s who want to keep playing football, but with less stress on the body. It is a non-contact version of the game, where running and tackling are not allowed.

The benefits have been on display at the Wanneroo Walking Football Hub.  As described by Tim, it is “a new era for men over 50 to play competitive football”.  Like all the players, Tim feels proud and privileged to be representing Wanneroo at the Pan Pacs.

Brian thinks that walking football is great for keeping active and getting fresh air.  “It also keeps the heart strong and allows you to socialise with other people of the same age”, he said. And there are other benefits as well. Who would have thought that at our age we would have the opportunity to represent the state in an international competition.  As Alister points out, “I can’t run fast, I can’t tackle, so walking football is ideal for lovers of the game like me.  And you can broaden your travel horizons with a great bunch of people”.

The feeling of camaraderie is evident amongst the team. Richard said that he was “dreaming big, hoping for a miracle and looking forward to sharing the experience with the boys”.  Paul summed it up as “privileged and proud to be part of a great group of gents, with commitment and mate-ship second to none.  Looking forward to competing in the tournament and finding our level on a global scale”.

We hope the guys go well in The Gold Coast and we are sure they will do the club proud at the Pan Pacific Masters Games.  If you want to get involved with the Wanneroo Walking Football Hub, contact David Udy 0476 404 570 or Richard Paveley 0410 141 084.