ILKLEY Town AFC are launching a community walk scheme which promotes both physical and mental well-being.

In recent weeks, Town have launched a football scholarship programme with St. Mary's Academy and the ‘Shop Local Today’ initiative which has helped local businesses in lockdown.

With a history of standing for health through inclusion and active lifestyles, the club are looking to use 'Walk On' to move beyond conventional sporting boundaries.

Town are organising a matchday walk, a mile and a half round trip, from Ben Rhydding station to their sports centre home on Leeds Road, and back.

The Baht 'atters continue to dedicate their time off the pitch to thinking of new ideas that have a positive impact on Ilkley and the wider community.

The club have invited anyone to come along who would like to take part.

Town director, Paul Wintersgill, thinks the walk can encourage others in society to do more exercise.

He said: “We want to help people in our community to be more active.

"We have over 600 players at our club who are active through sport but what about those who don’t or can’t play? We are reaching further afield.

"We want to get more young kids outside and away from their screens, older folk to keep moving, families to keep active together and anyone who wants to start exercising to join us.

“Movement is important. We want people to be motivated to keep healthy and active, and for it to become routine.

"The physical benefits include strength and toning, while, there are also several mental health benefits like stress handling and boosting brain power.

"I believe there is no medicine on Earth that is a better substitute for movement." Community fundraising officer at Leeds Mind, Gemma Green hopes more clubs can follow in Ilkley's footsteps.

She added: “We are delighted to support the upcoming matchday walk.

"It is encouraging to see clubs such as Ilkley Town AFC understanding the importance and links between mental and physical health whilst raising awareness in the region in such a fun and positive way.

"We hope that the matchday walk is successful in promoting both positive mental & physical health.”

Co-founder of Keighley based peer support group #ItsWorthTalkingAbout, Ryan Anderton is also in support and recalls how exercise has helped his health.

He said: “I’ve had significant struggles with my own mental health in the past and I am delighted to be supporting 'Walk On'.

"Through exercise & talking about my difficulties I have found a greater sense of well-being which has transformed my life.”

Town are looking to start a lockdown version of 'Walk On' before competitive football resumes.

For more information, email Paul Wintersgill at: