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Kicking Around Ideas Leads to Creation of Walking Football League

A walking football league has been set up by Lincolnshire Freemasons to keep in touch over the summer and to keep fit.


Kicking around ideas for ways to keep Freemasons from Boston in Lincolnshire in touch with each other over the summer – and potentially to introduce new members to Freemasonry – has led to the creation of a walking football league.

Dave Sharpe, the Provincial Social Committee rep from Pilgrim Fathers Lodge explained how he set the league up.

He said: “I felt something was needed not only to help keep us together during the summer when we don’t normally meet, but also to involve potential new members who could get to know us socially as they explore the possibility of joining. Discussions with other members led to us creating a walking football league.

“We chose walking football because it's a low-impact sport, it’s inclusive, and it’s accessible to most age ranges, with strict rules to minimise the risk of being injured and maximise the fun.

“The idea is simple; on the evening Pilgrim Fathers Lodge would traditionally meet – the fourth Thursday of the month – we would get together for a bit of a kick around, emphasising the fun, without making it overly serious or competitive."

Dave added: “By doing so we can engage with prospective candidates and let them get a feel for our brotherly vibe. Most of us aren’t football players or fans; we’re doing it purely for a social and a good laugh with the added bonus of a bit of exercise.

"What’s more, there’s a chance for others to get involved. Said Dave: “Prospective lodge teams are welcome to contact me. Once I have another three it will be enough to warrant the cost of a second pitch. Details are below.”

Matches are played on a ten-minutes-each-way rule, so there’s time for all three Lodges – Pilgrim Fathers, Lindis, and Franklin – to play each other. Each team consists of six players; rolling substitutions are allowed, and each team is allowed one non-Freemason. 

PITCHING IN: Pilgrim Fathers Lodge players are in the purple bibs, with Lindis in red.
PITCHING IN: Pilgrim Fathers Lodge players are in the purple bibs, with Lindis in red.

The ‘rolling subs’ rule gives more people the opportunity to take part, and spectators are also welcome.

Pilgrim Fathers Lodge put up a grant of £100 to cover the cost of the balls, tabards, stopwatch and whistle.

Dave said: “We charge £5 per person to cover the cost of the pitch, and anything left over is reinvested with a view to donating profits to charity at the end of the season.

“The initial feedback has been very positive, and the competitors really enjoy it. We’d very much like to involve Lodges from other centres. Ultimately we’d like to run a tournament involving the whole Province, and play for a trophy named after a recently-departed member Norman Wakefield."

He added: "We might even consider an inter-Province competition, just as members of the Lincolnshire Provincial Golf Association do.

“Essentially we are trying to provide a means for members to be in contact with each other, supporting them and maintaining interest for members who might otherwise ebb away.” 

If you’re not from a Lodge in Boston, but would like to know more about the walking football initiative or even enter a team, feel free to drop Dave an email to [email protected] or message him through the Pilgrim Fathers Facebook page which he runs.

Matches are played on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Princess Royal Sports arena on Great Fen Road, Wyberton Fen, Boston, starting at 6.45pm.

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