'Walking soccer' a hit with Sarnia seniors

A new sport is proving to be a hit with seniors in Sarnia — it's called "walking soccer." The second season recently started at the city's Norm Perry Park.

'The only thing is that you cannot run — which is hard at times'

A "walking soccer" game underway at Norm Perry Park in Sarnia. (Submitted by Kevan Parsley)

A slow-motion version of soccer is proving to be a hit with seniors in Sarnia.

"Walking soccer" recently started its second season at Norm Perry Park.

Kevan Parsley, 70, first learned about the sport during a visit to the U.K., where he was born.

"Initially I wasn't interested ... but I went to watch them one week and then the following week I played, and I really enjoyed it," he said.

Parsley then approached Sarnia's recreation department about introducing the sport for the city's 50-plus crowd.

The retired Nova Chemicals worker describes the sport as the same as regular soccer.

"The only thing is that you cannot run — which is hard at times," he said, admitting he's one of the players who often has to be told to slow down.

Tackling is also forbidden.

David Hogg (left) and Kevan Parsley run the weekly games. (Submitted by Kevan Parsley)

In Sarnia, the sport is co-ed and teams are determined on the spot. While participants are required to pay a fee to the city's recreation department to play, Parsley said they usually let interested players play a few times before they register to allow them to test drive the sport.

"We've got probably 25-30 registered now — from last year, it's grown by about 10 so far," Parsley said. "I imagine it will grow."

Parsley spoke about the sport with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre Wednesday. Tap on the audio player to hear their conversation.


Jonathan Pinto is the host of Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for Northern Ontario and is based in Sudbury. He was formerly a reporter/editor and an associate producer at CBC Windsor. Email


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