Councillor David Honeyford praises over-50s football league which aims to improve locals' health

A councillor has praised a new sports initiative that helps the mental and physical health of older residents in Lisburn.

Alliance councillor David Honeyford said the new scheme aims to tackle serious health problems and depression by using the ‘power of football’ to reach over-50s
Alliance councillor David Honeyford said the new scheme aims to tackle serious health problems and depression by using the ‘power of football’ to reach over-50s

Alliance councillor David Honeyford said the new scheme aims to tackle serious health problems and depression by using the ‘power of football’ to reach over-50s.

The over-50s football league offers a weekly social activity which has been partly funded by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

The initiative, which takes place at the Football Factory at Lagan Valley LeisurePlex, takes place every Thursday night at 8:15pm.

Cllr Honeyford added: “This really is for people from all walks of life. It’s about giving those who are over-50 the chance to improve or maintain their physical and mental health.

“It’s somewhere they can go and have a bit of craic and get the exercise that they want. There’s an initial six week period that is supported by the council and then the aim is to try and broaden this out.

“We have guys who have been furlough, made redundant, and people who are just sitting in the house and want to get out.

“All people have to do is come down on a Thursday and get involved. They don’t need anything other than a pair of trainers or boots and join in.

“It’s a brilliant scheme and I would encourage anybody who wants to get involved not to hesitate.”

Well-known football and academy coach Gerry Goodall organised the six-week pilot scheme for the league.

He said: “The whole idea of this was that a lot of guys might’ve put on a bit of weight or were experiencing a bit of mental strain and I decided that it would be great to set-up this over-50s league.

“Nothing is done for the old boys anymore and over the next six weeks we’re going to go ahead with this pilot scheme. We welcome guys from all shapes and sizes to come and join in with training and enjoy a few games of football.”