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The third National Walking Football League hosted by North Lanarkshire Leisure and supported by Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire kicked off this month at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell.

Hearts 56 won the trophy last year on an exciting last day after holding off Hearts 98, Gala Fairydean Rovers and Glasgow Sport West, with only two points separating the top four positions.

The players later paraded the trophy in front of a packed Tynecastle during the half-time break of the Scottish Cup tie against St Johnstone and had their photograph taken with Anne Budge.

This year, due to the increased popularity of the sport, an Over 65s tournament has been organised with 10 teams from throughout Scotland taking part.

This will run in tandem with the Over 50s competition.

The teams meet one day per month and play three 18 minute games.

Walking football is designed to help people keep fit or kick start an active lifestyle. The sport is aimed at men and women over the age of 50 and is basically a slowed down version of the beautiful game where players walk instead of running.

Many players report lower heart rates, less fat, more muscle and better mobility. In addition to the health benefits, participants meet new people, avoid becoming isolated and get to interact with others.

To find out more about walking football and to identify the locations of your nearest venue, visit walkingfootballscotland.org

Photograph courtesy of Hearts of Midlothian Football Club