This week at Dementia network we’ve been looking into the work of Sporting Memories, a rather cool organisation that is dedicated to bringing together older adults to talk about and remember sport. There are more than 120 Sporting Memories clubs across England, Wales and Scotland, as well as a dynamic online presence that has been ramped up in response to Covid 19.
The clubs are for people with low mood, dementia, or who feel isolated, though others over 50 are welcome to join. Sessions held involve quizzes, competitions, some gentle exercise and a tea break or two.
Pat said of her husband Alan, who has dementia, ‘He likes going to this every week, the friendly and chatty atmosphere that everybody has. They welcome us there. It enlightens us and you come back feeling a lot better.’
For those who are still shielding, or unable to get to a local club when they reopen (all are currently suspended due to Covid19), online resources are at hand, including the brilliant ‘Sporting Memories in 100 Objects’ series of videos, which the team have been putting together over lockdown. You can see the videos here and see if there is anything there that sparks a memory for a loved one. The scheme also offers ‘Sporting Pink’, a printed publication available at the clubs to spark conversation. In response to the coronavirus pandemic they have made the publication digitally available for free to anyone as an online publication – all you have to do is register to have it delivered to your inbox. You can do that here.
Sporting memories works closely in partnership with a range of organisations, including Sport England and Big Lottery Scotland.Just this month they held their ‘Great Get Together’, an online meeting via Zoom where 62 sports fans joined in with sporting chat, memories, competitions and an exercise session. Plans are afoot for more such meetings.
To find out if three is a sporting memories club near you, or to take part in their online sessions, visit https://www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com/