Issey Lee-Fisher

Sports student Issey Lee-Fisher, who established a walking football club for people with neurological conditions, has graduated from the University of Worcester.

Issey Lee-Fisher


Issey created ‘Neuro Walking Football Worcestershire’, a walking football club in Worcester specifically for older adults who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition, such as Parkinson’s Disease or MS, or those recovering from strokes.

“I’ve always enjoyed the idea of bringing different communities together through people’s love of the game,” said Issey, who herself played for the University’s Women’s Football Team. Issey worked alongside many organisations on the final year project for her Sports Development and Coaching degree, including Worcestershire Football Association (FA), Parkinson’s UK and a Parkinson’s specialist physiotherapist. The weekly sessions, funded by Sport England’s Tackling Inequality Fund, involve an hour of physical football coaching and of socialising, aimed at improving mental and physical fitness.

“I had the idea of creating these sessions during my first year of university, however, the pandemic halted any further activity,” she said. “But this soon resumed during my final year. The club has now grown from four participants in January 2022 to 13 participants currently.” The club’s team competed at the Sport Parkinson’s Walking Football tournament held at St George’s Park, the home of the FA. Issey helped organise a Neuro Walking Football festival in Worcester this year that attracted teams from all over the country.

Now working at the Worcestershire FA as the Football Development Officer for Disability, Inclusion and Youth Male Football, Issey continues to manage and develop the club alongside many other projects. Long-term she wants to progress within the FA and would one day like to work for a professional football club’s community foundation.

“I have found my university journey one of the hardest yet most rewarding things I have ever done,” said Issey. “Whilst times were incredibly challenging, I persevered and new opportunities are arising every day. I will be forever grateful for every opportunity I had whilst studying at the University of Worcester.” Issey originally chose Worcester due to the degree course on offer and the University’s smaller size. “I felt it had a greater sense of community,” she said. “It felt a fantastic place to network with other students and lecturers, particularly within football so I could access more opportunities to coach and play.”

Find out more about the School of Sport and Exercise Science at Worcester