Sporting Memories

Project Category: Registered charityProject Tags: Older People and Sport

  • Our Story

    Sporting Memories Foundation was established in 2013 alongside our community interest company, The Sporting Memories Network (founded 2011). Through both organisations we develop and deliver reminiscence, social and inclusive physical activities that improve the mental and physical well-being of older people 50+ who maybe socially isolated, do not take part in other activities, spend days without any social interaction, maybe living with conditions such as dementia, depression and/or have increasingly limited mobility. They will be physically inactive or sedentary and not taking part in any sporting or physical activity.

    We have impact through tapping into people’s passion, knowledge and love of sport and supporting local people to run inclusive and Sporting Memories clubs with a wide range of activities designed to engage all older people regardless of physical or cognitive conditions. Our network of clubs has developed to over 120 weekly or regular community-based clubs across England and Scotland, as well as, another 50 plus activity locations with over 250 collaborations with other organisations and sports clubs. We are about to open 30 weekly clubs in the next two years in Wales. We have currently over 1,000 people talking part in weekly or regular clubs and in excess of 100 volunteers.

    Volunteer-led Sporting Memories clubs, use archive images of sport, memorabilia and news reports to trigger fond memories of playing or watching sport. As well as reminiscing about sport and allowing group members to tell their stories through sporting memories, the clubs include exercise and the playing of accessible sports to increase physical activity levels of beneficiaries. A weekly club consists of the ‘first half’ being sporting reminiscence and cognitively stimulating games supported by memorabilia and resources such as Replay cards, quizzes and the weekly Sporting Pink newspaper but defined by the participant’s sporting interests and preferences. These therapeutic activities can help trigger affirming memories to reinforce identity, connect people and improve personal confidence and mental well-being. The ’second half’ of the weekly clubs facilitate at least 45 minutes of physical activity with a range of activities and sports including indoor curling, boccia, bowls, darts, indoor golf and a range of balance and strength exercises. The physical activity will be a gradual introduction to support older people slowly increasing physical activity levels from a starting point of being inactive. All activities are inclusive and within the limits of the individuals within the weekly club.

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