Families encouraged to talk sport in support of National Dementia Week

Monday May 17th 2021


Belinda Scarlett (L) talking to women who had played football between 1945 and 1993 as part of an event held for National Sporting Heritage Day 2018 by the National Football Museum.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The official countdown is on to celebrate the UK’s sporting legacy for National Sporting Heritage Day

Launched by social enterprise, Sporting Heritage CIC in 2014 following the 2012 London Olympics, and taking place on Thursday 30th September, the annual event has grown year on year. 100s of museums, archives, galleries, schools, community groups, sporting governing bodies and their associated clubs from across the country will take part in the celebration.

This year’s event is set to be the biggest yet with a particular focus on sharing sporting stories and memories between the generations.

Founding director, Dr. Justine Reilly said:

“Many of us have really missed seeing our elderly relatives and friends over the last year, and as we can start to enjoy each other’s company again, we thought it would be a brilliant opportunity to bring sport into the conversation.

Whether it’s seeing old programmes, photos, a kit or hearing a song or watching a video clip – we have all got a sporting story to share that sticks in our minds and brings memories and emotions flooding back. This week’s launch coincides with National Dementia Awareness week and the run up to the release of our handbook on how sporting memories can play an effective role in supporting those with memory loss, and how organisations can set up their own sporting heritage memories group.”

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Organisations and community groups are invited to apply for Sporting Heritage’s community grant scheme to host an event or activity to celebrate their local sporting heritage, and schools are encouraged to take part with a specially designed resource pack now available to download with a variety of activities to choose from.

Justine adds:

“This last year has really highlighted how much sport means to the British public with the restrictions in place – from playing it, to watching it and talking about it – it’s part of our DNA. National Sporting Heritage Day is about celebrating our heritage from across the whole sporting spectrum from the grass roots to the elite. We want to encourage people to have the conversations about their sporting memories and visit and enjoy the amazing collections in our museums, communities and online.”

This year’s event has the support of media partners, The Mirror and The Express who will be showcasing sporting collections and stories leading up to the event. A host of Sporting Heritage Ambassadors, including world squash champion Nick Matthew and poet, Ian Macmillan are also supporting the national event.

To get involved and to download a resource pack head to www.sportingheritage.org.uk/NSHD and use #NSHD2021 #YourSportingStory

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