Walking Down Memory Lane Before the Final EFDN Walking Football League Tournament in Madrid
As the final EFDN Walking Football Tournament approaches, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the incredible journey that has unfolded over the past three tournaments in Breda, Leverkusen, and Newcastle. These tournaments have not only showcased the spirit of walking football but also brought together players, fans, and communities to celebrate this unique and inclusive sport. With the grand finale in Madrid just around the corner, let’s reminisce about the magic of the past tournaments and the anticipation building up to the ultimate showdown.
Breda: Where It All Began
The inaugural EFDN Walking Football Tournament in Breda, Netherlands, on the 31st of May 2022, was a landmark event that set the stage for future competitions. Hosted by JEKA, this tournament saw teams from across Europe come together to display their skills, sportsmanship, and passion for walking football. The event was not just about competition; it was a celebration of camaraderie and inclusivity.
Schalke 04 took home the first championship, with Athletic Club Foundation being placed second. German team Eintracht Frankfurt earned the Fair Play trophy, while Spanish team Real Betis Foundation managed to finish the tournament undefeated.
Leverkusen: Double Celebration
The Walking Football League tournament in Leverkusen, which featured 18 teams of players aged 50 or older, was a great success. It coincided with the 5-year anniversary of the Silver clubs of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany, and included additional celebratory events. The day was filled with goals, new friendships, and some drinks. While the competition was fierce, the tournament provided players with a chance to socialize and rekindle their love for the game. The champions of the tournament were Bayer Leverkusen A, followed by FC Schalke 04 in second place and Athletic Club Bilbao in third place.
Newcastle: Raising the Bar
The EFDN Walking Football Tournament in Newcastle, United Kingdom, raised the bar for what this sport could achieve. The tournament, hosted by Newcastle United Foundation, saw an even greater level of competition and excitement. Teams from across Europe gathered to compete, forging new friendships and strengthening existing ones.
Newcastle’s Cochrane Park hosted a vibrant Walking Football tournament with 18 teams from 8 European countries scoring 142 goals. The event celebrated the growth of this sport that caters to older players. A sense of unity was fostered with pre and post-tournament gatherings at St. James Park stadium. Newcastle triumphed, showcasing their skills, with Schalke and Morton securing second and third place, respectively. Glasgow Rangers earned the fair-play award for their conduct on and off the pitch.
Madrid: The Grand Finale
As we reflect on the previous tournaments, the anticipation for the final EFDN Walking Football Tournament in Madrid next week is palpable. This grand finale promises to be a culmination of the passion, dedication, and love for the sport that has been exhibited in Breda, Leverkusen, and Newcastle.
The Madrid tournament will not only be about crowning a European Walking Football League champion but also about celebrating the enduring spirit of walking football. It will bring together players, coaches, fans, and volunteers who have made this journey unforgettable. The event will serve as a reminder that walking football is more than just a game; it’s a lifestyle that promotes physical activity, social interaction, and lifelong friendships.
On behalf of EFDN, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the teams that have taken part in our walking football tournaments. Whether you participated in just one or two, three, or all four of our tournaments, your presence and enthusiasm have made these events truly special.
We appreciate your dedication to walking football and your commitment to promoting the values of inclusion and camaraderie through the beautiful game. It’s through your participation that we are able to create meaningful experiences for all involved.
We look forward to welcoming you back at future EFDN events. To stay updated on our activities and upcoming events, please visit our website at efdn.org and consider subscribing to our newsletter.
Always remember, together we are more than just football; we are a community united by the love of the game and the values it represents.
Thank you once again for being a part of the EFDN family. We can’t wait to see you on the pitch again soon.
Walking Football League Project
The European Walking Football League is a tournament, initiated by EFDN and Partners that brings community-engaged football clubs in order to deliver a program that increases physical activity levels and improves social cohesion and inclusion for people aged 50 and more. In addition, the Walking Football League gives an opportunity to players to lead a physically and socially-active lifestyle in their European communities. One of the main goals of this project is to further develop Walking Football as a sustainable sport in Europe and raise the profile of the game.
- Vålerenga Fotball (Olso, Norway)
- Ferencvárosi Torna Club (Budapest, Hungary)
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Leverkusen, Germany)
- Rangers Charity Foundation (Glasgow, UK)
- Fundação Benfica (Lisbon, Portugal)
- Real Betis Balompié Foundation (Seville, Spain)
- FC Schalke 04 (Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
- Morton in the Community (Greenock, UK)
- Newcastle United Foundation (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK)