WALKING SOCCER PICKING UP SPEED

Seacoast United Sports Club wrapped up its second 8-week Walking Soccer program and things are looking very positive for the brand-new activity which is gaining lots of attention.

Back in October, Seacoast became the first youth sports organization in the entire country to provide a full Walking Soccer program. The activity began back in England and thanks to the club's connections with Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Seacoast was able to roll out a similar version in the fall. Over the course of the initial 8-week period, multiple retirement and assisted living communities reached out and took part in the activity. RiverWoods Exeter, Sunrise Sunset Center and Cornerstone Hampton helped the pool of participants jump from 8 to 20. There were several articles written by local syndicates including SeacoastOnline, The Union Leader and Exeter News which highlighted the unique program. Due to its popularity, Seacoast decided to continue the program for another 8 weeks which ran from January to February.

The second 8-week program saw several new additions to the curriculum to make it more holistic. This included working with the Athletic Performance Center (Exeter Hospital) trainers to introduce a dynamic warmup routine as well as a short fundamental drill each week which helped the players develop a specific area of the game such as passing or dribbling. Even though there was a real focus on the physical component of the activity, the social piece it was really sets this apart from other senior related programs. The ability to bring participants from various communities together and have them interact and work as a team has added another layer to Walking Soccer.

"It's pretty empowering to see a 90-year-old scoring a goal," said Sales and Marketing Director James Peterson. "This program has been a massive success and already it is having a profound impact on the senior community here in the Seacoast." Peterson went on to say, "Our goal is to be in a position where this is part and parcel of what we offer at the organization. Whether you are 1 years old or 90 we want you to be part of something here at the club. We hope to have this in place at a number of our facilities across New England come next winter."

For more information on Walking Soccer, please email James Peterson at jpeterson@seacoastunited.com.