Trust’s help ahead of IWFF World Championships recognised

Chesterfield FC chief executive John Croot, who is recognised as the inventor or walking football, is looking forward to the International Walking Football Federation (IWFF) World Championships, which take place at the SMH Group Stadium this weekend.

Fifteen nations will be represented at the tournament, featuring a total of 54 men’s and women’s teams, with the likes of Australia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Peru and the hosts, England, all taking part.

John, who came up with the idea for a walking version of football for an ‘Extra Time’ initiative aimed at people aged 55 and over, said: “It’s great to have the walking football community back at the stadium. 

“They’re coming from all corners of the world. I know it’s much anticipated by the players, management and the families and friends they’re bringing with them.

“It’s great for businesses in North Derbyshire because, linked with the teams alone, there are around 500 people coming here and they will all be spending money.”

Alan Rose, president of IWFF Global, is thankful to the Trust for the support they have provided in the build-up to the tournament.

“With 15 nations, 54 football teams and 12 persons per team, plus the supporters and the families, it’s been a nightmare logistically for the hotels and transport,” he said. “But, thanks to Keith (Jackson) and John (Croot) and the staff at the Trust, we’ve managed to fit everybody in.”

Alan urged people to come along, watch the games and find out more about the physical and mental benefits of walking football.

He said: “It’s not always about the game, it’s about the enjoyment, it’s about the friendship. You’ll see everybody laughing and joking with each other, regardless of which nation they’re from.

“Get hold of some of the players and have a chat to them and they’ll tell you how much it’s changed their lives, from having illnesses and being housebound to making the effort and getting out there. It’s wonderful.”

The cost of attending the tournament is £10 for a Day Pass or £25 for a Weekend Ticket, allowing access on all three days. Book via the following link: