'Sports Day' memories shared at dementia event
The event, which was held at Headingley Campus last week, was run in collaboration with the Sporting Memories Foundation and involved local individuals, care homes and groups who have worked with Leeds Beckett University over the last year on projects and research, along with staff and student volunteers.
It wanted to bring people together to reminisce about their sports days and to take part in some fun indoor and outdoor sports and activities. There’ll was the chance to look at old photos, comic annuals and memorabilia and to chat about favourite memories. Those who attended were able to visit the free tuck shop to get some of their old favourites and there were plenty of homemade cakes to choose from. They also headed out into the sunshine to enjoy quoits and egg and spoon races.
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Speaking about the aim of the event, Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies and organiser, said: “This is our way of saying thank you to the local people who have worked with us over the last year and to bring staff and students from the University together with local older people. Events like this also demonstrate how people with dementia and other conditions can be helped to live positive and active lives through encouraging enjoyable participation in social groups with sports, physical activity and reminiscence at the heart of them.
“There is growing evidence of the benefits of exercise, physical activity and social participation for living well in later life. Our partnership with the Sporting Memories Network offers some exciting opportunities for both organisations to work together more closely to support positive lives for people living with dementia.”
The Sporting Memories Foundation charity supports older people across the UK living with dementia, depression and loneliness by engaging them in social activities and helping them to recall memories of watching or playing sport. By sharing memories of sporting moments and tapping into a passion for sport the charity helps people connect with others and their past, reawakening positive thoughts and feelings that otherwise remain hidden away.
Fred Wake, 80 years old from Aberford, said it was great to talk about his memories: "It's an interesting gathering and it's nice to see the old photos and memorabilia. I really enjoyed playing Subbuteo - it reminded me of playing with my younger brother when I was little. We didn't have a lot but we were given a Subbuteo game which we really enjoyed playing and this has brought back those fond memories."
Pat, who is 81 years old, also enjoyed reminiscing: "I've loved everything today. Listening to the old songs reminds me of when I used to sneak out to go dancing - I used to love dancing."