Recorder staff play walking football at Redbridge Jewish Care Centre ahead of Mitzvah Day
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 06 November 2018
An eager troupe of Recorder staff were put through their paces in game of walking football with a group of Jewish gents to mark Mitzvah Day.
Players displayed enough flair to rival the fireworks exploding in the sky during the match at the Redbridge Jewish Care Centre (RJCC), in Woodford Bridge Road, on Monday, November 5.
Mitzvah Day, of which the Recorder is a media partner, aims to bring together people of different ages, faiths and walks of life to improve the community and takes place this year on Sunday, November 18.
Each year, Recorder staff join some of Redbridge’s hardiest volunteers to give back to the community.
Last year we visited the Jewish Blind and Disabled’s Milne Court building, in South Woodford, to wash the tenants’ minibus.
This time the Recorder joined a group of over-50s who meet on Monday nights to play what could perhaps be mistaken for an easier version of the beautiful game.
But, as The Recorder can attest, the sport is no walk in the park.
The rules are near identical to normal football, except that it is non-contact and anyone caught running is penalised.
This seemingly small change completely alters the tactics and strategy behind the sport.
Searching passes and through balls are almost a thing of the past when your pace is restricted to a hurried shuffle
Howard Kemp, who runs the group, said: “It’s been three years and we now have about 20 regulars.
“Most of us played in our youth and gave up somewhere along the way so it’s great to be playing again.
“Not only does it bring out the kid in you but it’s great for ﬁtness and I can see the huge improvement we have all made in terms of our skill levels.”
Two games of nine-aside football were played over the course of two-and-a-half hours on the centre’s well-manicured, outdoor astroturf pitch.
“That was brilliant – I would genuinely come back again,” chief reporter Matt Clemenson said afterwards.