In August 2017, Benfica Foundation showed to RUTIS (Network of senior universities, U3A) a new sports project for seniors, the walking football. From the beginning, RUTIS found the idea attractive and that it would have enormous potential among senior universities. Our instinct did not fail us, and when on October 17, 2017, we presented the “Walking football” project at the RUTIS Principal Meeting, the adhesion by U3A was immediate.
The first step was a training session for future coaches/managers/athletes at Estádio da Luz on February 20, 2018. Then, in a regional tournament, the first kick-off took place on May 11 at Estádio Municipal de Almeirim, followed by Coimbra, Oeiras, and Miranda do Douro matches. On June 21, at Benfica Stadium in Lisboa (Estádio da Luz), the final tournament took place with 213 athletes and 45 technical team members. Every year the last match is in Benfica Stadium.
The reasons for the excellent adherence of seniors to this new modality, and in last season 26 teams participated from south to north of Portugal, are essentially three:
– It’s fun. Any activity (sports, training, cultural) done for seniors (or any other group) has to be fun, otherwise it hardly works. And playing football is fun, whether it’s running or walking. Participating in tournaments with other teams all over the country is equally fun and an excellent time for socializing and sportsmanship. Many athletes, especially the ladies, had never played football before, bringing them a new and relaxed experience.
– It’s healthy. The teams train between 2 and 3 times weekly for about an hour. It is remarkable to see some players’ development later in terms of coordination, resistance, visual and spatial acuity, and orientation. The results were more visible in women and older people, with general health and physical capacity gains.
– Group and team spirit: For many athletes, this is the first time they are effectively part of a sports team. And they are going to training, wearing a kit, having a coach, teammates and opponents, playing in regional and national tournaments, receiving medals, greeting the referees and listening to friends call for them.
The objective of RUTIS and Fundação Benfica is to take this sport to more and more seniors across the country, whether senior universities or not.
Here is a summary of the rules of “football on the move”:
– Walking football is a variant of football for people over 50 years old, where you can’t run, just walk.
The organization of teams, games and the National Tournament is in charge of RUTIS and FB, with Masterfoot (arbitration) and IPDJ (Portuguese Sport Institution) support.
Teams can have from 6 to 22 elements, and the registration of teams and tournaments is free.
There are two types of teams:
– Competitive: For teams with more athletic and technical power.
– Playful: For teams with a slower pace and less experienced.
Teams can register for tournaments in the Competitive, Playful or both modalities. Every year at the beginning of October, there is a training/information session at Benfica facilities in Lisbon for coaches/coaches/team managers, given by FB.
There is also a technical manual to support those responsible for the teams. Each team will play with the same equipment (shirt, shorts and socks). In addition, RUTIS give some equipment and balls to the news teams.
Register our team where.
Walking Football (WF), walking or walking football, is a sports project developed by RUTIS and the Benfica Foundation (FB), with the support of the IPDJ, with the aim of promoting physical exercise and healthy competition among students. of senior universities. See video 1 and video 2.
The project started in February 2018 with 10 senior universities, ending the 2018/2019 season with 26 teams registered.
Walking football is a variant of football, for people over 50 years old, where you can’t run, just walk. The teams are made up of six field players, preferably of both sexes, in which there is no goalkeeper. The field used is similar to the futsal field, the goals are 3m x 1m, (usually a ribbon or a band is used (see images above) to adapt the normal goals to the sport) and the ball cannot rise above 1 meter tall.
The organization of teams, games and the National Tournament is in charge of RUTIS and FB, with the support of Masterfoot (arbitration) and IPDJ.
Any senior university can enter a team in the RUTIS/FB National Walking Football Tournament. Teams can have from 6 to 22 elements. Registration for teams and tournaments is free at http://wf20.rutis.pt.
There are two types of teams:
Competitive: For teams with more athletic and technical power.
Playful: For teams with a lower pace and less experienced.
Teams can register for tournaments in the Competitive, Playful or both modality. Teams must train 1 or 2 times a week.
Two National Tournaments have already been held. The I took place from May to June 2018 and the II Tournament from November 2018 to June 2019. The III National Tournament will take place from October 2019 to June 2020. The participation of teams in the tournaments is optional.
There are three types of tournaments: Local, Regional and National.
– Local tournaments are held particularly between teams that are close, they are not scheduled and do not have the logistical support of RUTIS and FB.
– Regional tournaments take place between November and June, in different parts of the country, according to the schedule previously presented by RUTIS and FB. Tournaments involve 4 to 10 teams.
– The final national tournament takes place at the end of June at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon and all teams registered for the National Tournament can participate.
In tournaments, depending on the type and number of teams registered, there can be games in the Competitive and Playful modality or just one. In tournaments, medals are awarded to all participants and a cup to the first classified.
Every year at the beginning of October there is a training/information session at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon for coaches/coaches/team managers, given by FB. There is also a technical manual to support those responsible for the teams.
Coaches and coaches must be specialized in the field of sport and/or training.
All athletes must have personal accident insurance for WF. The RUTIS/Generali/Nersant insurance already includes this modality, so students who have this insurance do not need to take out any more.