James ‘Banty’ Nash is not a happy man.
‘Banty’ (64) has just taken part in his first game of ‘Danderball’ in Templemore Complex and despite winning the game 3-2, he thinks the referee’s decisions left a lot to be desired.
“There were too many people running on the pitch and the best way I can describe the referee’s decisions is nothing but scandalous,” he laughed.
‘Banty’ and many other men over the age of 50 from all over Derry attended a ‘Dander Ball’ taster session on Wednesday.
‘Danderball’ is best described as walking football for the over 50s. The only real difference between ‘Danderball’ and normal five-a-side is that participants are not permitted to run, sprint or jog.
“It looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to give it a go,” said 66 year-old Bobby Bradley.
“When I was coming here today my grandson, who is seven years-old said ‘granda, don’t sign any contract until I have seen it first’,” he laughed.
Active Communities Coach for Derry City Council, John Paul Glenn, said ‘Danderball’ was a great way to reach men over the age 50 who have become physically inactive.
“Men over the age of 50 can be quite hard to reach sometimes so what better way to get them exercising and learning about health than by taking part in a bit of ‘Danderball’?
“‘Danderball’ is known as ‘Walking Football’ in England but I think our name sounds better - we wanted to give it a Derry twist.
“After today’s taster session we would hope to hold six ‘Danderball’ sessions over the next six weeks in Templemore Sports Complex. We want as many men as possible to come along and try it out.
“The Public Health Agency help to deliver all of the information about drug and alcohol misues aswell as general talks about cancer and general health - it’s a great project,” said John Paul.
Manager of local drug and alcohol awareness group, HURT, Dessie Kyle, also said he was looking forward to taking part.
“I am 59 and I can’t wait to give it a go. We have a team ready to go and everything.
“We at HURT are very passionate about anything which seeks to improve the quality of life of older people.”
For more information on ‘Danderball’ or to find out how to take part contact Active Communities Coach for Derry City Council, John Paul Glenn on 07872423752 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org