We welcomed the Asian Resource Centre Croydon (ARCC) to our network of clubs, as they held their first session on Friday 25th February – in doing so they became our first club to be predominantly focused on engaging with Asian older people.

With the support of Peony Court Care Home, the sessions will engage some of the 10,000 strong membership ARCC has in the Croydon and south London area – with the aim of encouraging local residents of all backgrounds to share stories about their passion for sport and local community.

The opening sessions of the group, they welcomed former Yorkshire CCC Chief Executive Chris Hassell who spoke to the new members about his decades long career in sport, with a specific focus on his time at the white roses. Speaking to a captive audience, he detailed some of the key moments during his time at Headingley, from signing the great Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to redesigning the Len Hutton gates.

It was then the turn of members who shared their stories of sport, from recalling cricketing greats of the past to mentioning the impact of Crystal Palace FC in the local area.

Jay Patel, the chair of ARCC, was delighted to get the club started and is hopeful it can lead to a wider network of clubs in the region.

“I am passionate about finding ways to bring communities together and working alongside Sporting Memories to set-up a new club in Croydon made perfect sense. It is a real opportunity for us to create an environment for people to come regularly and just chat and hopefully build friendships.

“We at ARCC have a community of over 10,000 people of Asian heritage across Croydon and south London, and we believe with our expertise and knowledge of different cultures we can help bring people together to do anything – and talking about great sporting moments of the past is just one of them!”

“It’s been great to start this adventure with the support of Chris (Wilkins – Co Founder of Sporting Memories) and we hope that our first group can really feel the positive mental and physical wellbeing impact of the sessions in time.”