David Taylor has arthritis in his knee, has had a minor heart attack and his doctor has forbidden him from playing his beloved sport of soccer – but the 73-year-old is now able to enjoy the game in a new way.
“For me it’s a way to get back in,” Taylor said of walking soccer. “I’ve been looking forward to it now for a couple of years, and now it’s here and it’s great.”
Taylor, who grew up in England, watched his first professional soccer game, featuring Leicester City, at the age of six. He played soccer until he was 11-years-old before switching to rugby at a new school.
He moved to Canada in his twenties and played soccer in the Yukon before moving to Saskatoon and starting a soccer program with the Lakeview Community Association. He manages two Masters teams, two over-50 teams and serves as a past-president on the youth board. He also works as a fitness consultant.
In walking soccer, players must always have one foot touching the ground. The ball must stay below six feet and there are no throw-ins. The goalkeeper has an area no other player may enter and she may not leave. Teams are six a side.
The Saskatchewan Soccer Association is hosting the first annual Walking Soccer Cup March 3 at SaskTel Soccer Centre from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pickup players are welcome.
“If you’ve never played before, or if you’ve played your whole life. If you have mobility constrains, if you are perfectly healthy, the game is open to everybody,” said Eden Rakochy with the association.
Players can sign up at the Saskatchewan Soccer Association website.
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