Then, Now and Forever: Using sports memories as therapy

By Luke Norman

The way sporting memories can be used for therapy for people with dementia, depression and loneliness will be discussed at an event in Leicester next week.

Professor Martin Polley, Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) at De Montfort University (DMU), will be chairing an event next Friday (MAR08) that was pioneered by the Sporting Memories Network.

As part of the festival of teaching week at DMU, the university will be teaming up with the Sporting Memories Network and Leicester City FC’s Community Trust to bring the Then, Now and Forever sporting memories project to students.

Leicester City and England legend Peter Shilton helped to launch the scheme and workshops have been running since December 2017 to primarily help people who were tackling dementia, depression and loneliness.

Speaking to Leicester City’s official website on January 31, club historian John Hutchinson said: “It’s been wonderful to see the responses of the people in attendance today and they really seem to enjoy the relaxed and informative atmosphere which we can provide here.”

The main intention of next Friday’s event is to introduce the project and inform students on how the sporting memories approach works.

 

 

Professor Polley said: “Having the opportunity the festival of teaching gives to bring both the sporting memories network and Leicester’s community people to campus was just too good an opportunity to miss.”

The sporting memories network describe their work as “Using images of sport and memorabilia, older people are assisted to stay connected to their friends and communities, cognitively stimulated and physically active. The volunteer led, intergenerational Sporting Memories groups help people over the age of 50 age well and remain as healthy as possible.”

The network brings together people who for health reasons will remain inactive bringing them together to chat about sport and even in some cases get involved actively themselves with activities like walking football.

 

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