Supporting a favourite sports team often inspires a lifelong passion.
And now the older generation of Leeds sports fans are to be reminded of their top stars of yesteryear in a bid to improve their well-being.
Sporting Memories, which starts in 16 Leeds care homes next month, will use reminiscence therapy to help residents with memory problems or dementia.
Current players and coaches, as well as legendary names from Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Carnegie and Yorkshire County Cricket Club have shared sporting memories while all fans are encouraged to add theirs to a website for use during the sessions.
At a launch event at Elland Road yesterday, health and social care bosses rubbed shoulders with veteran sports players to throw their weight behind the project.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “Sport is a great way to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people.
“Reminiscing about sport – what people saw, what they did – can help bring generations together as fans share their memories and enthusiasm, be that about the heading ability of John Charles, the pace of Freddie Truman or the cycling ability of Beryl Burton.”
Social enterprise Sporting Memories Network has set up the scheme, funded by workforce organisation Skills for Care.
Care home staff, volunteers and relatives will be trained to run the activities, using archive images, reports and memorabilia.
Sporting Memories Network founder, former psychiatric nurse Tony Jameson-Allen, said: “We are excited at the prospect of working with the staff and residents of care homes in a city which has such a vibrant sporting heritage.”
Log on to: www.sportingmemories.org
* Find out more about how the scheme in the YEP next Wednesday. (Oct 3)