We are proud to honour the achievement of the Parkinson's England team, who recently triumphed in the Walking Football Games 2023 at Tao Payoh Stadium in Singapore on 19 March 2023.
The event, a joint collaboration by Toa Payoh East CSN and WalkingFootball4Health Asia, is designed to provide a platform for aspiring footballers with disabilities to participate in a major tournament on an international scale. It brought together teams from England, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Parkinson's England not only participated in the event, but came out on top against fierce competition from across the globe. The team overcame the combined impact of a 13-hour flight, significant jetlag, 35-degree heat and humidity, and a 7-hour running time for the competition as a whole, to defeat three non-PD international teams.
The following comments come courtesy of the Walking Football Association (WFA): "The team are quite simply inspirational. They met up with the local Parkinson's group in Singapore to talk to them, give them hope, and to 'educate' them; to show them what can be achieved, and they were all amazed. They willingly took part in some research regarding walking/age/height/weight before having a training session. In the tournament itself, they opened with a 4-0 win against WF4H Singapore. But as is a regular occurence in Singapore, a torrential downpour was followed by lightning storm warnings and a 90-minute delay in playing.
"Most players would stiffen up, but this is more daunting for PD players who are trying to balance their medications during the day to allow them to play. After the break, England won 7-0 against a Singapore B team. And so the decider was against Indonesia, a tight game that saw Garen Williams getting the winner 5 minutes from time. So, England played three and won three, while scoring twelve goals and conceding none, and all against non-PD teams. Nobody should underestimate what a huge achievement and statement this is. The trophy was collected to the tune of Sweet Caroline, and so the celebrations began.
"Watching the team get back on the bus just cemented what they had put into the day. They were physically and mentally drained, requiring rest and medication, and then bouncing back to end the experience with a celebration! What a pleasure and a privilege to have travelled with and been part of this group. What a journey, starting just under a year ago, and the whole group was led superbly and compassionately by Stu Carrington and physio Jo Eastough, both of whom are integral to what this group have achieved. Simply inspirational!"
Stuart Carrington added: "I want to say a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support. Singapore was an amazing experience; there were three participants from the North-West: myself, Lenny Sephton, and the only female player in the ten-person squad, Annie Booth. And to top it all off, the team went out there and won the tournament against able-bodied players, which just goes to show that they can do anything once they set their minds to it."
Please join us in congratulating the team for their amazing victory. They are truly heroes!
To find out more about Parkinson's England and the Walking Football Association, please contact Stuart.Carrington@LiverpoolFA.com