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Cherries ensuring age is no barrier to football

23 Jan 2019
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AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust's walking football sessions are making older men healthy

At one point Mike Dowling struggled to climb the stairs, but now he is a regular footballer thanks to AFC Bournemouth Sports Community Trust.

Dowling had never played the game but, having undergone open-heart surgery, he was told he should get some exercise to aid his recovery.

That's where the AFC Bournemouth Sports Community Trust came in.

They run three walking football sessions a week where men or women aged 50 and over can maintain their love of playing the beautiful game without having to suffer excessive strain.

"I'd never played football in my life," says Dowling in the latest BBC Match of the Day community video. "I was advised to take a sport and joined the club here.

"There was a time I couldn't even climb the stairs. Now I have been running up and down for half an hour, or walking up and down, as they say!

"And I am much fitter than I have ever been. I even score the odd goal, which surprises most."

See: AFC Bournemouth's Community Sports Trust participation events

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