Prostate Cancer UK will be the official charity partner of the Walking Football Association (WFA) after the parties teamed up in a long-term deal.
The partnership was announced during the finals of the WFA National Cup at Solihull on October 29th, and the two parties will work together to raise awareness of the most common cancer in men, and funds to help beat prostate cancer.
The leading men’s health charity will work side by side with the growing game’s national governing body in a five-year partnership.
The over-50s tournament winners, Birmingham were crowned at the event in the West Midlands after a 2-1 win over Leggy Mambos. Prostate Cancer UK also had a strong presence, including a man affected by the disease, Dave Hadley-Smith who took part in an exhibition match. There was also an information stand and volunteers were collecting funds on the day.
Paul Carr, from the WFA, said: “It’s great to be involved with Prostate Cancer UK. There is so much synergy between the two parties and our demographics are very similar.
“We both reach out to men over the age of 50, and promoting the game as well as spreading this most serious message about a disease that affects so many men and their families is a win-win situation.”
Carr has added reason to support the cause after his cousin Mike Moore, 69, has been affected by the disease, and throat cancer as well.
“He’s an inspiration to me,” added Paul. “He’s still actively playing football three times a week and that’s played a massive role in his recovery. Hopefully the information we get out there and the money raised can make sure other men don’t have to go through what he has.”
Established in 2011, the rapidly growing sport now boasts 35,000 active players and more than 1,100 clubs across the country – and over 36 countries across all continents. The England management teams have recently been announced.
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “The power of football consistently helps us reach out to men and their friends and families, and we are excited to kick-off this exciting new partnership with the Walking Football Association.
“Walking football is one of the fastest growing past-times for older men, and a perfect platform for us. This ground-breaking alliance will play a valuable role in raising awareness and encouraging men to know their risk of prostate cancer, as well as raising funds for vital research. It will also offer us an incredible opportunity to transform public awareness of a disease which affects one in eight men, and reaching them early will make a life-saving difference.
“Our aim is to reach as many men as possible, and encourage them to take responsibility of their health. We thank the Walking Football Association for joining us in the fight against prostate cancer.”
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One man will die from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. That’s over 11,000 men a year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.