New partnership taps into ageing sports fans’ memories
A new partnership between a social enterprise and a sporting company is aiming to unlock recollections for ageing fans to reduce isolation and promote wellbeing. Sportsbreaks.com and Sporting Memories are working together to reminisce, replay and reconnect with past experiences.
For those who were involved in sport in their younger days, either as a fan or a player, reliving the glories and talking about famous figures can animate them in the face of memory-robbing disorders like Alzheimer’s. Sporting Memories works with 150 clubs across the UK to bring sports fans together through activities to jog recollections.
Now, it’s entered into a year-long partnership with Sportbreaks.com to create new sporting memories and raise funds and awareness for fans with dementia. Experiences will include rugby, football and Formula 1 packages, with the company highlighting the social enterprise’s work to its customers.
Amanda Brandariz, head of Sportsbreaks.com, said: “We are delighted to partner with Sporting Memories, which is an incredible charity that is using the power of sport to leave a lasting and positive change in our society.
“We believe that sporting experiences cannot be rivalled when it comes to creating memories. We hope that through this partnership we can help unlock memories for so many people, whilst importantly raising awareness of the challenges for those living with dementia.”
Sporting Memories has echoed the enthusiasm for the partnership, with its CEO Chris Wilkins MBE saying it will help to raise awareness of the way sport can improve the mental and physical wellbeing of older people.
Since 2011 when the organisation was founded, it’s tapped into the powerful recollections that sport can trigger. From looking at an old photo of Muhammad Ali or a YouTube clip of a Jimmy Greaves goal to passing around a football and reminiscing about a Sporting Memories member who once coached Vinnie Jones, the charity offers many outlets.
The idea for Sporting Memories, which is open to anyone over the age of 50, came about after Mr Wilkins found football was a good way to get men in particular to open up. It now operates clubs digitally and in person across the country, as well as in care homes, day centres and hospital wards, bringing people together through a shared love of sport.
Mr Wilkins told The Mirror: “Our biggest challenge is that talking about sport can seem such a simple idea that anyone can do it. But with our background we understood the real challenges and expertise required to fully engage people living with cognitive conditions like dementia especially if, as we set out to do, we were going to make a real difference to their lives and the lives of their carers.”
Photo credit: Unsplash/Wesley Tingey
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