Then, Now and Forever talk explains how sporting memories can help mental health

By Luke Norman


The ways in which sport is used to help inspire people who are struggling with mental and physical health issues were discussed at an event run by The Sporting Memories Network on Friday(MAR8).

The main message from the event was how important it is to keep memories of sport as they are something to draw happiness from, which can help with people’s mental health.

De Montfort University Professor Martin Polley and members of the Leicester City Community Trust presented a talk on the work of The Sporting Memories Network.

The talk was held in the Leicester Castle Business School and showed off a few examples of what is done at regular events.

“The main goal is to bring people together,” said Leicester City FC club historian John Hutchinson (the only club historian in the Premier League).

“It is a great social occasion for people to come along and listen to and meet with ex-players.”

One example of a social activity that was used is a game of spot the ball that used to be common in newspapers and magazines, where you get a number of chances to guess where the football is within an image.

The Leicester City Community Trust members also spoke on the work that they do within the community for people of all ages, including a programme called Inspire to help young people who are underachieving at school.

Speaking on the goals of the Sporting Memories Network Community Trust, member Matt Bray said: “We want to engage with people through sport and using sport as a vehicle to get people to share memories.”

Professor Polley added: “It’s a charity and social enterprise that uses reminisce therapy on a sport theme to help people who experiencing dementia, depression and isolation.”

The Then, Now and Forever Sporting Memories scheme is funded by the Premier League Charitable Fund along with the many other schemes that are run by Leicester City FC.

Another activity that was displayed at the event was pass the ball where each person talks about their greatest sporting memory, when they have a football in their hand.

To learn more about the Leicester City Community Trust click here.

And to learn more about the Sporting Memories Network click here.



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