Winchester Walking Football Club’s coach Heather Kirkland has been named joint coach of the year by the Walking Football Association.

There are currently more than 650 clubs listed by the association, including some which are linked to the community sections of premiership teams.

Heather, who lives in Southampton, initially came to a couple of sessions in the summer of 2022 to offer a little advice and encouragement to Winchester players (men and women) at their weekly Tuesday morning hourly meet.

She was invited to take on the role of voluntary coach, although she has no qualification badge, and the hour session was extended to 90 minutes. That enables her to lead a 15 minute warm-up period, followed by 15 minutes of drills before the club begins playing games which she sometimes referees.

In 2023 she successfully completed a WFA refereeing course.

Heather also fills a number of roles with X Saints women's walking football club in Southampton and for the past couple of years she has been south east regional player manager for the England women's over 60s who won the regional tournament in 2022.

Last year she stepped into the breach to become the England women's over 60s player manager.

During the St George's Park world cup exhibition match she was also asked to referee.

The Winchester club is continuing to grow and welcome new players. See the website