Full Statement from The Sporting Memories Foundation

From (and including) Wednesday 18 March, we are suspending the running of Sporting Memories sessions in England, Wales and Scotland. This is in response to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

At Sporting Memories, we work primarily with older people. Older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are particularly vulnerable to health issues, including, of course, COVID-19. This can also be the case for those who care for them and for their family members. We also work with our volunteers – many of whom themselves care for older relatives – and with partner organisations in England, Wales and Scotland.

Our Clubs help to tackle social isolation for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, as well as for those who care for them. We are aware that maintaining social contact is going to become harder for everyone over the coming weeks and we know that the decision to suspend Clubs at this stage will add to these difficulties.

We are developing new ways to stay in touch over the coming weeks, to try and ensure that the joy of sharing sporting memories and the cognitive resilience this helps to build may continue at home. As an organisation we care deeply about the physical and mental wellbeing of those who come to our Clubs, outings and other social events. This is also true for our volunteers, who each week bring their dedication and skills to our sessions.

We have begun by producing a new weekly, digital version of our iconic Sporting Pink publication, which we use each week in our Clubs. We encourage friends, relations and carers of those who attend our Clubs to register to receive the Sporting Pink, as well as regular updates. We will include ideas for how to use this each week, and we are continuing to develop further resources for use at home.

We wish everyone well, and we look forward to being able to advise when our Clubs are once again running and we can come together to share fun, companionship and those wonderful sporting memories.

We will continue to develop ways to stay connected and reach out to our participants and volunteers. Updates will be provided on our website, www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com, on social media, and via our newsletter and new digital Sporting Pink.

Dated 16 March 2020