David James

Walking soccer hits ground running

Sport imported from Britain, adopted by Parksville seniors sport group for play in indoor arena

It may not be classified as a craze quite yet, but that’s merely a formality to Rob Jonas, director of the Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association (PGOSA).

Walking soccer, imported from Britain by PGOSA member David James and played since last fall on the turf at the Arbutus Meadows indoor arena, has drawn upwards of 40 members per session, said Jonas. When that number grows to 200 or so, the association can draw up leagues and set a regular schedule.

“We’re years from that,” James said.

“We’re one year away,” Jonas amended. “Resistance is futile. This is the new pickleball.”

It may not yet have the huge turnout of pickleball, the tennis/ping-pong hybrid. But walking soccer does offer an accessibility to seniors who may once have been competitive players but can no longer run the length of a full pitch.

Walking soccer is similar to the original game but played on a smaller pitch, using six players a side.

Goalies have a marked “crease” they cannot leave and that attackers may not enter, and kicked balls must be kept to shoulder level and below.

Men and women alike are welcome to attend sessions each Tuesday and Thursday at Arbutus Meadows, from

2 to 3 p.m. For info, visit online at www.pgosa.org.