Started in 2019, Walking Football Nelson is targeted at the over 50's men and over 40's women. The sport is aimed at keeping people involved with the sport if, due to a lack of mobility or injury (or other reasons), they are no longer able to play the traditional game. And with a wide range of fitness and skill levels among our participants, it is fun, social and a great opportunity to reap the mental and physical health benefits of being involved in active sport again. Walking Football Nelson is also as much about the social aspect and 'the after match' as it is about the sport. This is a great way to keep active while also keeping social. It's a great way to meet new people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, and to form great camaraderie every week. Not to mention the banter and social aspect during and after each session. We are completely about having fun! Walking Football Nelson welcomes all new and existing members. If you're interesting in coming along or finding out more, please email walkingfootballnelson@gmail.com


Currently our sessions are held the Nelson Girls College Gym on Wednesday nights from 6.15pm during the school terms. Entry is via Bronte Street, off Trafalgar Street.

What is Walking Football?

The biggest difference, as the name suggests, is there is no running. Walking football is played at walking pace, with players not allowed to run. This includes with the ball or off the ball, and jogging.

You can ‘walk’ as fast as you want and walking as described in the rules is “one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times.” One other big difference to association football is that it’s classed as non-contact sport. Although tackling is allowed, this must be done with no contact.

Who can take part?

Walking Football is aimed at Over 50s but is open to any aged people keen to get involved. If you are under 50 but are unable to play full contact sport due to injury or health, then Walking Football is a great option for you! It is inclusive of all levels of football experience and ability, if we can get a good number of people taking part, we will be able to provide different grades of walking football including beginners and advanced to accommodate different types of players with males and females mixed in teams.

What do I need to bring?

Players can wear football boots or running shoes, you will need to bring a water bottle and comfortable clothing for outdoor exercise. It is recommended you bring a jacket or sun block depending on the weather conditions forecast on the day.

Walking Football Rules

  • No running or jogging, with or without the ball.
  • Always try to ’jockey’ opponents and only tackle from the front, no sliding tackles and no contact off the ball. Contact throughout should be minimal.
  • No off sides.
  • The ball must not be kicked by any outfield player or thrown by the goalkeeper above head height.
  • Free kicks are awarded to the opposing team if the ball travels above head height. Deflected balls that go above head height are played on. The referee is the sole judge on head height.
  • All free kicks are indirect - players cannot shoot directly at the goal. They must pass instead.
  • Goals cannot be scored directly from kick offs, kick ins, corners, drop balls, goalkeeper’s kick, save or throw.
  • Substitutions and GK change can be made when there is a break in play and the referee has signalled.
  • Players can be ‘sinned binned’ for dissent or repeated running or minor offences.
  • Players can be ‘sent off’ for serious offences and can take no further part in the match and cannot be substituted.
  • Goalkeepers can receive back passes. They may either kick or throw the ball back into play. Goalkeeper throws must be under arm. The goalkeeper has 6 seconds to play the ball.
  • Play competitively but in a sporting manner.
  • No dissent to the referee.