EFDN Interview – Luc te Riele: “Walking Football creates a bond”
EFDN member NEC Nijmegen joined forces with Grote Markt Supercup for the fourth time to organise an international Walking Football tournament at the central market in Nijmegen. We have interviewed Luc te Riele, CSR Manager at NEC Nijmegen:
EFDN: How did you organise the tournament?
Luc te Riele: This is the fourth time that we join this big tournament. We sat together before the tournament and we were looking for some bigger clubs and some extras for this year. So we decided to ask the German clubs Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen. They accepted our invitation and we are really happy about that. We could do that because we have a connection through EFDN.
We are happy to be here. Grote Markt is one of the best places in Nijmegen for such a tournament. We hope to continue with it next year and that we can welcome even more clubs here, maybe from England as well.
EFDN: NEC Nijmegen delivers a Walking Football programme already for some years and you plan to set up a new NEC Oldstars team. How and why did you start your Walking Football programme?
Luc te Riele: We have started the programme because of EFDN and Eredivisie, the premier league of the Netherlands. We decided that players get a full NEC experience for one year and after that, they join a local club. In this way, we try to have more Walking Football teams at local clubs. The current team is the second group that will join a local club. Next season, we start with a new group and they will also join a local club after one year. So we try to make Walking Football bigger in the whole region.
Luc te Riele handed the winner trophy over to Schalke 04. Photo: Rob Koppers
EFDN: Did you notice an impact of the Walking Football programme on individuals?
Luc te Riele: Yes, there was, for example, a man who was a little bit lonely after losing his wife. He started to play Walking Football and now he has 20 new friends because of Walking Football. Another guy had some problems with his back. He is feeling better, he is more active and he has more friends now due to Walking Football.
EFDN: Can you give any hints to clubs that want to start with Walking Football?
Luc te Riele: You need to find people that are interested to play in the team, you need to have a kit, you need to find a pitch where the team can train and you need to have a coach, that is really important. You can start if you have all those things. Your organisation just has to be good.
EFDN: The hashtag of our network is #morethanfootball. Why do you think Walking Football and your tournament are #morethanfootball?
Luc te Riele: Just look around and watch the players. I think Walking Football creates a bond between the players – even if they are rivals.
- Read more about the Walking Football tournament in Nijmegen
- Read more about NEC Nijmegen
- Read more about Walking Football
- Get ready to start your Walking Football programme