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Alejandro Lynch and Elisabeth Peters - The Dynamic Duo
Alejandro Lynch and Elisabeth Peters

Photo by Mike Winterburn

The couple that plays together…

When soccer fans talk about a partnership, they usually mean a pair of strikers. In the Toronto Walking Soccer Club (TWSC), the word partnership brings to mind Alejandro Lynch and Elisabeth Peters.

The East End Toronto couple have been regulars in the group since last fall.

Each week new teams are formed, so in some games they are teammates, and in others, they go head-to-head.

“I like playing the same team actually,” said Lynch. “It's fun to play together.”

Peters saw TWSC members playing while she walked a friend’s dog through a park in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood.

“I had never seen that game before,” she recalled. “It looked familiar, but it was something different.”

Over the course of a quick conversation across the touch line, she learned about walking soccer and decided to come back the next week for a second look.

She was ready to play, and then she took on the challenge of convincing her husband to join with her.

At first glace the game seemed to be little too relaxed for his taste, but that soon changed.

“I said no and then she insisted, and I said, ‘OK, let's give it a try,’” recalled Lynch. “So, a couple of weeks later, we went, and I really enjoyed it.”

A native of Argentina who works in IT, Lynch says he has been playing soccer practically since birth.

“I came to Toronto to study, to do my postgraduate studies for three years, and I'm still here,” said Lynch, who is now 67 years old.

Before COVID he had been playing regularly with friends, but that routine did not restart after the lockdowns ended. Walking soccer brought him back to the pitch.

“I think it's a great way to stay playing a game that I’ve played all my life.”

Peters, 64, a school librarian who first came to Canada from France as a nanny, has not been playing quite as long.

She took-up soccer in her 40s when a group of moms, associated with her son’s team, decided to start playing together.

Peters says she finds the TWSC group very welcoming.

“There’s always some encouragement, some cheering, so I don't find it competitive at all,” she said.

Lynch echoes that sentiment.

“You try to do your best and to score goals or to defend – you're competitive, but not in a very aggressive way,” he said.

TWSC plays with a local rule that limits players to three touches on the ball at a time, encouraging more of a passing game.”

“This gives everybody a chance to touch the ball,” Lynch said. “You have to force yourself to look around and pass it to whoever is open.”

Along with cycling, gardening and camping, walking soccer is one more activity the couple can do together as they reach their retirement years.

While their birth countries could have triggered a rivalry during the last World Cup final, Peters insists that the two were united through the full 90, extra time and penalties.

“I cheered for Argentina because I like they way they play,” Peters said before adding, “We usually have football from Argentina on our television at home.”

Story by Mike Winterburn

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