We started our journey as the Brentford Penguins Football Club in October 2017, which was a Club for children with Down’s syndrome. We found that even although many community football clubs offer pan-disability training sessions, children with Downs weren't always given the attention they needed. This is why we decided to start up a very specific and unique football club for any child aged 8+ who has DS. This is something we are extremely proud of and currently we are able to help over 30 players, some of whom travel from as far away as Aylesbury, Dunstable and Camberley.
Since the launch of the Brentford Penguins FC in 2017, we have gone from strength to strength. In September 2022 we launched our 2nd Club, The Brentford Emperors FC, a Walking Football team for men over 55 to help tackle issues with mental health, fitness and wellbeing. In April 2023 we launched our 3rd Club, the Brentford Empress Penguins FC, a Walking Football team for ladies over 40 to also help tackle issues with mental health, fitness and wellbeing.
In May 2023 we were granted Charity Status with the umbrella name of Planet Penguin Football Foundation (charity no. 1202901) and our three Clubs sit under this Charity. We are supported by Brentford Football Club, the Brentford Community Sports Trust and we are affiliated with the Middlesex FA and the Walking Football Association.
Walking football has become increasingly popular. It is exactly what it sounds like – a standard game of football where players walk instead of run. It is designed to help people get fit or maintain an active lifestyle no matter what their age and fitness, as well as support people getting back into football if they have given it up due to age or injury.
Older people who play have seen many benefits: lower heart rate and blood pressure, less fat and more muscle, and better mobility.
And it’s not just health benefits - Walking football also offers social benefits. Participants can meet new people, avoid becoming isolated, and interact with individuals and small groups.
Living the same routine year after year can sometimes make you feel like you’re going through the motions. By joining in a physical activity with a group of people your age can be a breath of fresh air, make you laugh and give you a good time. It’s a great way to get out more, meet new people and feel better. This is one sporting activity that is suitable for all.
We are very proud of what we have achieved but we would not have been able to do this without the love and support of our Penguin family.