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11 July 2018

Wigan Athletic Community Trust and partners help to portray a positive image of ageing across Greater Manchester.

  • Wigan Athletic Community Trust hosted celebration at the DW Stadium on Thursday 5th July, welcoming more than 500 older people from across Wigan.
  • Festival helped to portray a more positive view of ageing across Greater Manchester. 
  • Greater Manchester wide Festival of Ageing a continuing success.

As part of the club's commitment to becoming a more age-friendly organisation, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and local partners from across Wigan Borough celebrated with an extravaganza of activities at the DW Stadium on Thursday 5 July as part of the Greater Manchester wide Festival of Ageing.

The festival for over 50s, which featured a Walking Football tournament, live music and dance acts, cycling and behind the scenes DW Stadium tours, was funded by Ambition for Ageing and the Big Lottery Fund and attracted more than 500 people.

Working with partners including Wigan Council, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and Age UK Wigan Borough, the event also gave over 50s the chance to find out what other activities are on offer for them across Wigan.

Head of Community at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Tom Flower, said:

“To see around 500 people take part in the Festival of Ageing event at the DW stadium was great – becoming a more age friendly organisation is something that is really important to the Football Club and hopefully the festival will be the first of many types of activities that we run.

“As well as so many people taking part there was also a wide range of different organisations who helped make it a success and we wouldn’t have been able to run the event if it hadn’t been for people like Wigan Council, Age UK Wigan Borough, Wigan Walkers, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and 4CT as well as the funders the Big Lottery Funders and Ambition for Ageing and the Big Lottery Fund, so it was a real team effort.”

Guest speaker and Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux said:

“It was a fantastic event and I was very pleased to see a packed audience.

“The event showed off all of the things that are going on for people when they reach a certain age and that there is still a lot to do.

“It’s so pleasing to see people in Wigan are carrying on their enjoyment for a wide range of activities in later life.

“I think’s important here in Wigan and across Greater Manchester that we show our support for the Festival of Ageing.

“We have an ageing population in Wigan which is also a very active population who have a lot to contribute.”

Chief Executive of Wigan Council, Donna Hall said of Wigan Athletic’s Community Trust:

“I think we are so lucky to have such a fantastic Community Trust- I think it is the best Community Trust in Greater Manchester.

“It is brilliant to see how Wigan Athletic Community Trust is organised; it’s such a professional organisation and the Festival of Ageing was such a fun event.”

Finally, Barry Worthington, a long-standing participant of Walking Football added:

“We had participants from the age off 55 up to their early 70s playing Walking Football at the Festival of Ageing.

“The message is get active and stay active and that message is for both males and females who are encouraged to come and get involved with many of the activities and initiatives Wigan Athletic Community Trust are involved in.”

Festival of Ageing forms part of the Ambition for Ageing scheme, a £10.2 million Greater Manchester wide programme aimed at creating more age friendly places and empowering people to live fulfilling lives. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Ageing Better programme, which aims to reduce social isolation in older people.

For more information about Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s activities for older people, please call Sports Engagement Coordinator Fergus Heyes on 01942 318090 or email

Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s existing activities and initiatives include:

  • Football 4 Forces – weekly football sessions for ex-service people
  • Re-cycling – cycling group for over 50’s
  • Lose Weight Feel Great for Men – weekly physical activity sessions at the DW Stadium
  • Dementia Friendly Training for staff
  • Working with Wigan Walkers to a create a Wigan Athletic Walking football team

Wigan Athletic Football Club, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the DW Stadium are committed to respecting and promoting equality and diversity across all its activities through Together.

Click here for more information about Together.

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