The Greater Manchester Walking Football League (GMWFL) has sent an email to all clubs regarding the restart of the league for the 2020 Autumn season which is due to start in September. The text of the email is below.
The Heywood Sports Village are running a phased return programme of all activities and at the moment the 3G facility still isn’t open for competitive walking football. We feel that any form of a league restart in September is now highly unlikely and hopefully we will have more news in the next few weeks. The current restrictions in the Greater Manchester and East Lancashire areas haven’t helped matters either.
There is a meeting of League Officers on 9th September and we are still hopeful of running some sort of league competitions for all age categories starting in October.
A great turnout by the Relics players (including a welcome return from Charlie Nangle) greeted the return of training (temperature checked and socially distanced of course) at our new home at Goshen after a four month lock down due to COVID-19. Everyone was impressed with the 3G pitch and facilities and it was great to get together again and have a kick around.
Bury FC The Trust will manage the new 3G all weather pitch at Goshen sports field, and as they have now been handed the keys they invited us down to view the facilities.
As you can see from the video below, it looks great, and boss Keiran, and coach Ken look very pleased with it, the lads gave it a thumps up too.
The FA will be attending on 1st July to oversee a trial day and check for health and safety issues and processes and procedures for coming out of the COVID 19 lock down, we are then hoping to get approval to start using the facility in mid July.
We have booked our training slot for Tuesdays 11am to 12 noon (replacing the sessions at Castle Leisure Centre), and we will also be using it for friendlies and competitions.
“A seventy plus strong group meeting for five hours every single week stopped dead in its tracks. Leagues shut down, Venues mothballed. Walking footballers who discovered this new game just a few short years ago will feel the sense of ‘wasted’ or ‘lost’ time keener than most. All footballing is finite but when you’re into your sixth, seventh and eighth decade you know that you’re in extra time already. Clock ticking. Nobody wants to be on hold for very long. Two weeks away on holiday can be keenly felt by some.
The cause? A pernicious killer that’s escaped out of a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan (a city of ten million people I’d never heard of before) to threaten not just our game – trivial in comparison, I guess – but to disrupt (or worse) the lives of those that had been playing it to keep healthy, to stave off the ageing process.
Lockdown means locked out. Of a world you’d come to quite like. A world of familiar faces, of some jovial banter and light hearted associations. Pounds piling on. Sure some try to keep up a modicum of exercise and mobility, but how many get truly breathless like they do when playing a strenuous walking game?
We adapt. Paint the fence, or a door, dig the garden and make our period of ‘house arrest’ as productive as possible but without the structure of an organised walking football week we find the thought ‘what day is it?’ entering our heads more often. Weekends come and go. Not quite as quickly as they once did.
No Saturday and Sunday diversion from the ‘proper’ game to occupy our thoughts. The trainers start to gather dust, the plans you’d made go further and further onto the back burner, no end in sight yet and who knows when? The creative thinkers try to find ways of engaging, now the ball isn’t doing the talking. Old photographs to jog the memory, words from yesterday and many days before when the cares we have today didn’t remotely feature anywhere in our collective consciousness.
You might start to see the efforts of teammates trying to make you laugh with videos and jokes online. Sometimes they succeed, other times Tumbleweed appears in a mental image and blows down a deserted main street in my mind. But thank goodness for ‘online’. Where would we be without it?
We say ‘keep well’ and ‘stay well’ when such sentiments went unspoken in the very recent past. Most are genuinely concerned about their contemporaries, some of whom, maybe most, have underlying conditions which make them more vulnerable to Covid-19. Because that’s what this is all about. We should be nervous, even afraid.
One day we’ll be back in our groups all over these islands, until then we’ll grin and bear the lack of a game. I feel much more sorry for housebound children missing THEIR friends and their education. Parents who will be worrying about wages, mortgages and paying that big bill that’s just arrived. And of course, the catastrophic loss of life. Lost to this pernicious killer disease that came out of a bloody ‘wet’ market in a place I’d never heard of.
Let’s count our blessings eh? Walking football won’t be going anywhere apart from coming back. One day. We can wait, a little while at least.”