Corby's inaugural walking football tournament proves a success

There was an excellent turnout at Steel Park for the Robin Webster Memorial Walking Football Tournament

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:53 am
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:54 am
Corby Town’s walking football team were beaten semi-finalists in the inaugural Robin Webster Memorial Walking Football Tournament at Steel Park

Walking footballers from Northamptonshire and beyond enjoyed a day to remember at Corby Town as the club hosted the inaugural Robin Webster Memorial Walking Football Tournament.

Around 170 people flocked to Steel Park on August 15 to take part in the first event of its kind put on by the club, which was powered by a Trident Community Foundation grant.

Steelmen chairman Steve Noble was delighted to see the tournament resonate with the community and hopes to see the club’s walking football section now go from strength to strength.

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Northampton Town Clarets were crowned champions of the men’s competition

“The atmosphere was fantastic,” said Noble.

“It was hard work, we put a lot into it and we held it on the main pitch.

“We had 12 male teams and on the women’s side, we originally had four teams but then a team from Cheshunt turned up who ended up winning, which was really pleasing.

“We’ve really struggled to recruit a women’s team but I think through this tournament, with the contacts we’ve made and people we met, I’m confident Corby will have their own ladies team shortly.

“I think we will also be in a men’s league soon. We have around 20 players who turn up to training regularly and I’ve even taken part myself.

“There’ll be a longevity from it and it has been a real positive for the club.”

Corby are one of 35 clubs across the Pitching In Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues to have benefited from Trident Community Foundation grants, which have ranged between £1,000 and £5,000.

The initiative is part of the multi-million-pound grassroots sport investment programme Pitching In, set up by Ladbrokes with the support of its owner Entain, to help non-league clubs re-build after two seasons curtailed by the pandemic.

Corby have picked up three points from their first two Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One Midlands matches this time around and Noble believes events like last weekend’s will further cement their status as a community hub.

“The biggest thing for me was the compliments we got from the other clubs,” said Noble.

“We were able to utilise the grant to buy nice trophies and use young referees on the county FA’s advice.

“We’ve got a lot of volunteers at the club who put hundreds of hours in between them and everyone got a buzz to see the atmosphere.

“I could talk for hours about it, it was just a wonderful day and with our finances, we wouldn’t have been able to put it on without the grant.

“Without it, the tournament would have been a year to 18 months away so it brought it forward, which was really good.

“Everything we got complimented on, the grant went towards – it made a massive difference.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports.

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