Looking for a regular activity in your area which supports older people aged 50+ to improve their physical and mental wellbeing? Sporting Memories might be just the thing for them!
We run and support a range of free clubs across the country that welcome people aged 50+ from all backgrounds and abilities, to not only discuss sport and create community bonds and friendships, but to also enable older people in local communities to remain active through our inclusive games and physical activities.
Part of our work also focuses on supporting those who also live with long-term conditions or challenges, such as living with dementia or living in isolation, to live more fulfilling lives.
Making a difference to people’s lives thanks to Sporting Memories referral
A lot of our clubs experienced the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, but with the help of referrals of people in the local community, one club has been able to grow since returning in person.
Our Corstorphine club had started life slowly with not many people initially joining the group. This was until Frank, Bill and Alex showed up for one session after hearing about Sporting Memories through the staff at the Corstorphine Community Centre.
All three regularly visited the charity shop in the community centre and were invited to pop along due to their passion for sport as well as the opportunity to all get together for a regular meeting. They had all attended seven weeks of regular sessions before the pandemic hit and the club had to move meetings onto Zoom.
Despite this, they attended all the sessions online during the pandemic – with Frank even taking lessons from the Community Centre on how to use an iPad! Since the club has returned to being in-person, the trio haven’t missed a session, with Thursday morning Sporting Memories playing an important part in their weeks.
They’ve also played proactive parts in keeping the club going and enjoying the activities on offer.
Frank has taken it upon himself to welcome new members as they visit the club for the first time and also supports Robert (90) who is the oldest member of the group in the weekly sessions by saving him a seat and making sure he gets a biscuit with his hot drink!
Bill lived an active lifestyle before his MS diagnosis and is in a wheelchair. But despite this, Bill has been an active member of the group and often enjoyed the group’s excursions to some of the historic landmarks of Scottish sport, including Murrayfield, Hampden Park and St Andrews.
Alex is similar to Bill, as he had to give up playing golf due to arthritis in his hands – and he was worried he would have to give up sport all together. But thanks to Sporting Memories he is still passionate for Golf and it is his way of staying connected to the sport.
What support is on offer?
We’re always there to offer guidance and support to those wishing to refer individuals to a Sporting Memories session locally.
Our network of club facilitators and volunteers are on hand to offer insight into how the local clubs are run, how they can accommodate older people from all backgrounds and abilities, to ensure the successful integration of new people to the club.
We also offer a range of valuable physical and digital resources to ensure clubs provide an engaging session for all club members and guests. This support system means we can offer comprehensive guidance and support to all of our clubs ensuring they can deliver inclusive and enjoyable sessions for older people.
Photo (below) shows Bill, sitting down in red shirt (top right) and Alex, top of table, Frank, left side of table in blue shirt and Robert, third from front sitting to Frank’s right!
To find out more about Sporting Memories Scotland, visit Sporting Memories
Brian Sloan is Development Director of The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland