A year in review: Walsall Community Programme’s top five events

Walsall FC's top five community moments of 2021

The Banks's Stadium: home of Walsall FC
The pitch of the Banks's Stadium. Credit: Toby Hill

Over the last year, Walsall FC have seen the continued rise of their community programme. The programme has run countless events within the community; helping those who needed them the most.

Here we look at Walsall’s Community Programme’s top five events of the year and how it has developed as a programme.


MAN v FAT has run throughout the year on Friday evenings at the Banks’s Stadium. The event has seen people take part in order to lose weight. Points are awarded for overall weight change, therefore encouraging people both on and off the pitch to get more active.

This year, over 95% of all participants lost weight through the programme, making it a great success.

The programme runs nationwide, and throughout its existence, has helped men to lose over 300,000lbs.

Walking Football

The walking football event has seen over 300 people take part since its creation in 2014. However, this year it has thrived. Costing just three pounds to enter, participants can join in every Friday at the Banks’s Stadium.

The event does not just run at the stadium, though, with some players also joining in various competitions and football festivals across the Midlands and wider UK.

The event has installed a sense of community within the participants in what has been a difficult year for many. With one hour of football and then 30 minutes of social time, it gives time to socialise when they may not have been able to before.

Three people playing walking football at Walsall FC.
Walsall Community Programme’s walking football event. Credit: Walsall FC

Pro Training Days

Walsall’s professional training days have been an area of success for the club this year. Expanding on the previous sessions that have been done, professional coaches and players come in to coach the children. This provides them with top coaching and an opportunity for the children to meet the players.

The programme has seen stars, such as, coach the kids throughout the year.

EFL Kids Cup

Since the Walsall side reached the final of the EFL Kids Cup in the 2018/19 season, the club has set its eyes on glory. The club partook in the event, in which 16,000 children compete in yearly. The competition inspires children to be active and healthy, whilst also developing their skills. Players, such as Manchester United’s Scott McTominay have even competed in the competition before!

This year, a host of schools battled out to represent Walsall nationally and potentially play at Wembley for the final.

Unfortunately, the club did not reach the success it had aimed for, but the children involved still enjoyed it massively.

Wembley hosts the EFL Kids Cup where two children are shown here.
Walsall FC participating in the EFL Kids cup. Credit: Walsall FC

Post 16 Education Programme

The Post 16 Education Programme course gives children aged 16-19 a chance to be coached by WFCCP coaches whilst also gaining an education at Walsall College.

The students have the opportunity to study for a level three diploma in sports coaching and development.

This has been a resounding success for the club. Speaking on this, Marc Wilkes, 39, manager of sport at the programme, from Featherstone, said: “The number of students and the quality of the students has got better through the recruitment process. We’ve become more competitive in the quality of football.”

Walsall FC students playing football.
Walsall FC Post 16 Programme’s students in action. Credit: Walsall FC

Read more: How has Walsall Community Programme developed in the last 12 months?