Second Drinkaware Cup attracts more walking football teams

September 2019

Growing sport delivers health benefits for midlife players

The second annual Drinkaware Cup, held earlier this month, attracted more participants this year, with eleven teams from across the country competing in the tournament, hosted in partnership with Derby County Community Trust. Nottingham Forest were crowned champions after beating Doncaster in a heated final.

Drinkaware has worked with Derby County Community Trust since 2017, providing alcohol education and advice to midlife men and women playing walking football across the county. Results so far have been impressive; at the outset of the programme, 55% of participants were found to be drinking at risky levels, but by the end of the first season, this had reduced to just under five percent.

Chris Grayson, Head of Account Management at Drinkaware, said: “We’re grateful to Derby County Community Trust for hosting the Drinkaware Cup for a second year. By working in partnership, we can offer tailored support to help people make better choices about their drinking.

“Taking part in team sport can be transformational, improving the physical and mental health of those taking part, as we’ve seen in the positive changes in the health of some players in Derbyshire. That’s why, as part of our Drink Free Days campaign, we champion activities like walking football, which are great alternative activities to make drink free days fun.”

As well as cheering on the teams, the Drinkaware team was on hand to offer information and advice to the players. They were given the opportunity to use Drinkaware’s drink compare calculator to measure their drinking habits and received tailored information on how to make lasting changes to their lifestyle in order to reduce their risk of health harms from alcohol.

Dave Harris, a Derby resident and Derby County walking football team player, said: “Without the support of Drinkaware we wouldn’t be where we are today. We take our fitness very seriously. I’m not saying we don’t drink, we do, but we’re aware that if we want to put in a performance then we’ve got to cut down. I’m fitter now, since I started playing, than I have been for the last 20 years.”

In October 2018, Drinkaware became the research partner of walking football in Scotland, supported by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Walking Football Scotland. Through the partnership, Drinkaware distributes information on drinking and its effects on health to walking football participants in order to educate them on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and the benefits of regular exercise.