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Striding Towards Wellness: The Joyful Journey of Walking Rugby

Rugby League • 3 min read • Feb 21, 2024 11:04:07 AM • Written by: Ryan Cartledge

At Warrington Wolves one of our values is innovation. It is our innovation that often leads to the birth of new and exciting activities that capture the hearts of our community. In 2021 nearly anybody in the town could get involved! But nearly anybody wasn’t good enough for Social and Inclusion Officer Mark Isherwood who identified an opportunity for the Foundation to be able to provide Rugby League activity for every person in the town! This was Walking Rugby League. Our sessions are quickly gaining popularity for their inclusivity and health benefits. This modified version of the traditional game offers a unique blend of physical activity, camaraderie, and joy for people of all ages and abilities.


So, what is Walking Rugby?


Walking Rugby is a modified form of the traditional rugby game, tailored to accommodate individuals who may not be able to participate in the more intense version due to age, injuries, or physical limitations. Unlike its high-impact counterpart, Walking Rugby is played at a slower pace emphasising the social aspect of the game and making it accessible to a wider audience. Like Rugby League, you get 6 tackles (touches), with the game restarting with a tap off the knee and a pass. Teams can score a ‘Try’ by getting the ball over the line. Unlike the traditional format, the ball does not need to be placed on the ground helping those with hip or knee injuries to score points at ease! It’s a great way to get fitter, meet new people, and learn

new skills too.

What are the benefits of Walking Rugby?

  1. Inclusivity and Accessibility:Walking Rugby opens the doors to individuals who may have felt excluded from traditional rugby due to various reasons. Its slower pace and non-contact nature create an environment where everyone can participate, fostering a sense of belonging within the community.
  1. Physical Activity for All Ages:One of the primary benefits of Walking Rugby is that it encourages physical activity for people of all ages. The game promotes cardiovascular health, improves muscle strength, and enhances flexibility, making it an excellent low-impact exercise option for seniors or those recovering from injuries. Through a study with Liverpool John Moores University using their sports science GPS systems we have found that the average heart rate at our sessions is 120 beats per minute, which is a moderate to intense activity for those over 50 years old. 
  1. Social Interaction:Beyond the physical benefits, Walking Rugby places a strong emphasis on social interaction. Participants enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team, creating lasting friendships and a supportive community. The shared experience of playing the game fosters a sense of unity and belonging. Our participants also socialise away from the field meeting for meals out, watching the Warrington games together, and the occasional social drink!
  1. Mental Well-being:Engaging in regular physical activity has proven benefits for mental health. Walking Rugby provides a fun and engaging way to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and boost overall mood. The strategic elements of the game also stimulate cognitive functions, contributing to mental sharpness.
  1. Skill Development:Walking Rugby is not just about moving at a slower pace; it also focuses on refining fundamental rugby skills. Participants can work on passing, communication, and teamwork, enhancing their overall understanding of the game while enjoying a more relaxed setting. Thanks to Liverpool John Moores we now know there is an average of 684 passes per session, which provides plenty of opportunity to practice those skills! 

Walking Rugby is more than just a game; it's a celebration of inclusivity, health, and community. So, get down to a session, grab a ball, and join the joyful journey of Walking Rugby – where the strides you take are not just on the field but towards a healthier, more connected lifestyle.

Want to get involved?

If you're intrigued by the idea of Walking Rugby and its numerous benefits, getting involved is easier than you might think. We have two sessions running weekly, if you would like to get involved email

for more details! 


Reach the World. Giving Made Easy with Impact.

Ryan Cartledge