Health and wellbeing is the winning goal as Brent Caribbean walking football team is crowned Winter Nation’s Cup champions

Published: 18th January 2024

An over 50’s Caribbean walking football team based in Brent has triumphed at the Winter Nation’s Cup in Cardiff, Wales.

The football team is made up of community members, and staff from both the Jason Roberts Foundation and Brent Health Matters programme. The Brent Health Matters programme is a joint initiative from Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) and Brent Council, working in partnership to help tackle health inequalities within the Brent community.

The Brent Health Matters team have been working in partnership with the Jason Roberts Foundation – a well-established community organisation based in Stonebridge – to engage Brent’s black Caribbean community to help improve health and wellbeing outcomes relating to several health issues affecting the community. Health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and mental health issues are more prevalent in the Caribbean community and walking football offers a low-impact cardiovascular workout to help improve overall physical and mental health fitness.

The Walking football teams of over 50s and over 60s were developed to create an environment where health can be discussed within the Caribbean community.  

Players originate from Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. Entering only their second tournament of the year, in December, the sides braved harsh conditions at the University of South Wales in Cardiff.

The Brent over 50’s side were the outstanding team of the whole competition, beating Australia, Wales and England to be crowned Winter Nation’s Cup champions. One player in the team also won an individual award for the ‘Most Valuable Player of the Tournament’. Both the over 50s and over 60s teams have succeeded in putting the Caribbean on the map as one of the world’s most formidable forces in this fast-growing sport.

The Mayor of Brent, Councillor Orlene Hylton, is an ardent supporter of the walking football Caribbean teams in Brent and is regularly seen at either match days or training sessions.

Andre Nolan, Brent Health Matters Clinical Team Lead at CLCH and goalkeeper said: “Football is a great way of bringing together men from the Caribbean community to be active and look after their health and wellbeing. It has led to us having important conversations about health-related issues prevalent within the black community. The football team has provided a safe space for men to talk and share experiences, but also to enjoy sport. And it’s even better when you win!”

Over the last three years, Brent Health Matters has provided some funding to the Jason Roberts Foundation and has co-produced seven health and wellbeing events in the community which combined sporting activities with NHS health checks, mental health support, GP registration and a range of other health and wellbeing advice.

Otis Roberts, CEO at the Jason Roberts Foundation commented on how the partnership with Brent Health Matters has allowed the Council and CLCH to build trust in the community. Otis said: “Brent Health Matters have been brilliant and really supportive. It’s been a godsend, having a Brent health service that comes into the community. You couldn’t have done anything better. That’s what the community wants.”

Speaking on behalf of the walking football Caribbean team, Andre said: “The community’s willingness to work collaboratively with the Brent Health Matters programme, began with the request to offer mental and physical health checks at training and match days. Through this, our clinicians have been able to support players with identified health concerns and escalated investigations to GPs.”

The Jason Roberts Foundation and Walking Football Caribbean Association have promised this is only the beginning, as they look to grow the game amongst males and females in their 40s, 50, 60s and 70s. With Brent Health Matters integral to this development, the enormous physical, mental and social health benefits will continue to help address many of the health inequalities experienced by the black Caribbean community in Brent.

Anyone 50 and over can play walking football at the Jason Roberts Foundation, no matter their background. For more information on how to join the Jason Roberts Foundation walking football family, contact or visit

For more information about the Walking Football Caribbean initiative, please visit

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