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Board Member Blog - Q1 2024

This year, we're trialling replacing our quarterly updates with a personal blog from one of our board members. This is because we now publish the minutes from OASF board meetings and meetings with Darren Royle within two weeks, so the quarterly updates weren't adding much value. Instead, we'll highlight some of the work we're doing that you might not be as familiar with. First up is Mick Harwood:


Last Summer, two OASF Directors, Garry Brown (now of Oldham Athletic Armed Forces and Veterans group) and myself met with Martin Vose, who is Head of Community at Oldham Athletic Community Trust.


During that conversation, we talked about the possibility of organising free Over 30s football sessions. At the back end of last Summer, we held our first session, with about a dozen attendees. It was fair to say that none of them had played for some time, and there was a lot of huffing and puffing going on!


Our Over 30s team (Old Man Athletic) before their charity game with Men United Against Suicide.


But now 7/8 months later, we have a group of 40-50 lads and one women's walking footballer playing across both Over 30s and Walking Football. Since those early days, a now honed and fit Over 30s squad have played a challenge match, with others in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the Walking Football team has also played a challenge match, have two tournaments coming up, and are associating with the Walking Football Association.


But above all, we have a big group of people who enjoy each others company and really look forward to a Thursday evening. It has brought people together, some of whom had only recently moved to Oldham and were looking for a way of getting involved with their local community.


Our Walking Football team before their first game, which they won comfortably.


The Over 30s sessions are now that well attended, that we are having to add new lads to a waiting list. But we are more than happy to take the applications, and get new lads involved as soon as possible.


The Walking Football is still developing, and has room to grow. At the moment our match day squads include over 50s and over 60s men and women over 30. We're a bit thin squad wise for Over 60's and for women footballers, but everyone is welcome to join in.


If anyone wants to know more, you can contact me on mick.harwood@oasf.co.uk


Editor's post-script: I couldn't let Mick do a blog about the free football sessions without dropping this clip in. If you put your volume on, you can hear those toxic Latics fans at it again. Not to worry, our Walking Football team's strong mentality allowed them to play through it and secure a resounding win.



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