Drinkaware launches walking football programme with partners

Date Published

11th November 2022



  • New programme to promote healthier lifestyles through ‘walking football’ to be announced at John Smith’s stadium on Saturday 12 November
  • 12-month programme, starting 25 November, to be made available for residents of Huddersfield and Kirklees at no cost

The increasingly popular sport of walking football is played at slower pace, with players not allowed to run. Sessions on the new programme are free and will take place weekly across Huddersfield and the wider Kirklees area.

The partnership will see new walking football teams established by Huddersfield Town Foundation. When attending for the first time, participants, who can be adults of any age and gender, will be asked to complete a short wellbeing questionnaire and provide details on their alcohol consumption. Throughout the year they will also receive occasional additional light touch information about alcohol.

The initiative will look to replicate a similar programme run by Drinkaware and Derby County Community Trust, during which players spoke of increased confidence and wellbeing, leading to broader lifestyle changes including, for many, reduced alcohol consumption.

At the end of the programme participants will be asked to give feedback on their experience, whether they enjoyed the physical and social aspects of the programme, and anything else they may have found useful. They will also be given information to help them stay active and manage their alcohol consumption longer term.

Adam Jones, Business Development and Partnership Director, Drinkaware, said:

"As a lifelong amateur football player myself, at Drinkaware we know the almost unrivalled power sport can have in bringing people together, helping them get active and supporting healthier lifestyles. We are delighted to be working with Huddersfield and Heineken on this exciting new programme."

Siobhan Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Huddersfield Town Foundation, said:

"We are absolutely delighted to partner with Drinkaware and Heineken UK to deliver this pioneering Walking Football programme across Kirklees.

We hope to provide positive opportunities for the community of Kirklees to improve their health by being able to take part in physical activity whilst also having education around sensible drinking habits.

This programme will see sessions rolled out across different areas of Kirklees and allow people to access the Foundation’s programmes in a very local setting.

It’s fantastic to see how the charitable and private sector can come together as a force for social change, offering sessions free of charge is helping to remove some of the barriers people face engaging in physical and sporting activities. Improving the standard of health in our community can drive many other benefits and we look forward to achieving positive results."

James Crampton, Director Corporate Affairs, HEINEKEN UK, said:

"We are delighted to be partnering with Huddersfield Town Foundation and Drinkaware on this innovative and targeted solution for tackling alcohol harm.

We are steadfast in our commitment to encouraging moderate consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle.

It is our hope that this partnership model becomes a template for helping communities get more active while also providing education around alcohol; one which clubs are able to replicate up and down the country."

For media enquiries

Please contact AFawcett@drinkaware.co.uk.

Notes to editors

All parties are aware that there are many important barriers when it comes to digital inclusion. As many of the educational tools used are digital, the Huddersfield Town Foundation is committed to supporting participants in accessing these elements.

Drinkaware’s latest research shows that 78% of adults drinking within low-risk guidelines, 18% putting themselves at increasing risk of harm and 4% drinking at high-risk levels.

About Drinkaware

Drinkaware is the UK’s leading alcohol charity which aims to reduce alcohol harm. We achieve this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and working collaboratively with partners. www.drinkaware.co.uk / @drinkaware.

About Huddersfield Town Foundation

For 10 years as the official charity of Huddersfield Town Football Club the Foundation has been inspiring people, creating opportunities, and working with other local organisations to deliver a variety of projects across Kirklees. The Foundation launched a new strategy in January 2022 and also unveiled a new brand and logo to align more closely with Huddersfield Town FC.  

The Foundation is rooted in the community. The unique needs of Kirklees are part of how the Foundation has defined its purpose, along with a passion for football and support. The Foundation’s distinct set of knowledge skills, resources put them in a place to make things happen. The Huddersfield Town Foundation can’t meet all the challenges that face it’s community but there are issues where they strongly believe we can make a difference. With an annual turnover of £1m the Foundation is developing it’s position in the charitable sector in Kirklees and across Yorkshire.

If you would like to find out more or refer yourself onto the programme, please contact the Huddersfield Town Foundation’s Health team by email: john.mccombe@htafcfoundation.com or telephone: 01484 503773.