WALKING football is hitting the back of the net among the over-50s at Inverkip Community Hub’s astroturf park.

Increasing numbers are turning up every Friday afternoon to enjoy the free sessions, which are kicking on after starting with just a handful of people but can now boast a growing group of participants.

Hub manager Kevin Rodgers said men and women aged up to 70 of all abilities have been taking part — and enjoying the benefits of getting active in later life.

He said: “We also have people of mixed mobilities who might not be able to play normal football but can enjoy the walking version.”

The programme is being run in partnership with Greenock Morton in the Community, who provide coaching on the rules.

Players have to keep one foot on the ground at all times.

Anyone who breaks into a jog usually receives two warnings before a two-minute penalty in the sin bin.

There are kick-ins instead of throw-ins, no offside rule — and the game moves at a slower pace.

The sport was initially created by Chesterfield FC Community Trust in 2011 as a way to help older players and people with injuries stay active.

It has since won the endorsement of internationalists such as Sir Geoff Hurst, formerly of West Ham, and Harry Kane of Spurs.

Kevin said: “We have table tennis as an alternative if there is torrential rain, but usually the walking football will go ahead outdoors. 

“We hope to link it in with other healthy activities at the hub, and it’s also a social occasion for people to get together, enjoy themselves and improve their fitness.”

Anyone can turn up to take part between 1pm and 2.30pm every Friday.

There is no fee, but participants contribute about £2 a week to go towards after-match refreshments.

More information is available by calling Kevin at the Hub on 520740 or Brian McLaughlin of Greenock Morton in the Community on 731949.