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Scottish horseracing to stage walking football matches

Scottish horseracing to stage walking football matches to promote message of responsible relationship with alcohol.

Scottish Racing has joined forces with national alcohol education charity, Drinkaware, and the Racecourse Association with plans to stage walking football matches at all racecourses across Scotland, to improve, maintain and promote the physical, mental and social wellbeing of older adults through low-impact sport.

Through these tournaments, Drinkaware will provide vital information to participants on their health and alcohol consumption, allowing them make more informed choices about their drinking habits and subsequently try to improve them. Drinkaware will use its partnership with The Scottish Football Association and Walking Football Scotland to facilitate the walking football element of this initiative with Scottish Racing with the goal of educating participants on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and the benefits of regular exercise.

A pilot tournament was held at Ayr Racecourse last week, which saw 50 participants from Scottish Racing, Ayr Racecourse, the Racecourse Association, William Hill, Alzheimer Scotland and Walking Football Scotland, with a view to hold more tournaments across all Scotland’s racecourses. Those involved also received a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of Ayr Racecourse, which would not usually be accessible to those attending a race meeting.

Delly Innes, Manager of Scottish Racing, said: “Drinkaware’s mission of promoting healthier lifestyles through a reduction in alcohol consumption, dovetails with that of our existing partners, Alzheimer Scotland, with whom we already work to promote physical activity and reduce social isolation. By informing more people about responsible drinking, we can also send a message that this can assist in the prevention of mental and physical illness in later life. Walking football is the fastest growing sport amongst men over the age of 45 with clear health benefits to anyone who may have concerns over their relationship with alcohol, or who may be living with dementia.”

“The health benefits of both responsible, informed drinking and increased participation in sport are obvious, and we are delighted to offer our facilities and manpower to promote that message further.”

Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said: “Working in partnership with Scottish Racing is a fantastic new opportunity, which allows us to work directly with communities across Scotland to help even more people make better choices about their drinking.

“Walking football is an increasingly popular and fun way for people to improve their health and wellbeing and is very much in line with our commitment to finding new and innovative ways of reducing the harms caused by alcohol.

Paul Swain, the Racecourse Association’s Brand & Experience Manager, added “we are delighted that the Scottish racecourses via Scottish Racing have offered their facilities to stage walking football matches. Walking Football is a great sport which enables everyone to play, promotes social inclusion and to take some exercise whilst also having a huge amount of fun.

The RCA is constantly looking for new ways to help racecourses activate our valued partnership with Drinkaware. This brilliant initiative should help many more people get onto a racecourse and be part of a team environment whilst receiving some valuable health and wellbeing advice.
If you would like further information, as to when a walking football event will be held at your nearest racecourse, please contact, Scottish Racing on 07908 716564 or email: