Sporting Memories comes to Wales!

Sporting Memories Network CIC is one of 17 organisations that have been successful with the first phase of the Healthy and Active Fund, which is distributing £5.4m and funded by a partnership of Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Public Health Wales.

We received a grant of £400,000 to support the aim of improving mental and physical health and reducing social isolation by enabling the adoption of healthy and active lifestyles across Wales. Our award will support the development of Sporting Memories weekly reminiscence and physical activity sessions in Wales, working in partnership with Cardiff City FC Community Foundation, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Derwen (Housing Association), Glamorgan County Cricket Club and Cricket Wales, Ospreys in the Community, Sporting Memories Network CIC, Swansea Council, Vi-Ability and The Pollen Shop.

We are working closely with Ageing Well in Wales to ensure the project has a lasting impact and reach on the lives and well-being of older people throughout Wales. Ageing Well in Wales is a national partnership programme hosted by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales which brings together individuals and communities with public, private, third and voluntary sectors to make Wales the best place in the world to grow older

The funding will allow us to open 30 new weekly volunteer-led Sporting Memories clubs over three years and across the local authority areas of Conwy and Denbighshire, Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan and also develop new reminiscence resources in both English and Welsh languages.

The partnership will be looking to recruit over 100 volunteers to run our weekly sessions. If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Sporting Memories, visit our volunteering pages.

As part of our project, one weekend per year will be dedicated as a Sporting Memories Weekend at all sporting activities taking place across Wales. The Sporting Memories Weekend will provide a range of activities at local clubs showcasing the work of the partnership, creating and collecting memories and attracting new volunteers and participants. This will be an annual event designed to unite generations in a range of activities that promote sport, physical activity, culture and lifelong learning. We will work with schools and youth organisations to carry out intergenerational activity with the weekly clubs for shared learning and memories.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots, said: “I’m really pleased that Sporting Memories has been awarded this funding, which will allow them to deliver a wide range of projects throughout Wales.

“My Ageing Well team has worked with and supported Sporting Memories for a number of years, and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive difference that will be made to older people’s lives, including those living with dementia, through the new activities they will now be able to deliver.”

Kelly Hart, Funding Manager, Sporting Memories Network said of the project: Sporting Memories, uses sports reminiscence to engage isolated older people living with conditions such as dementia, loneliness and depression. Our Club members, who meet on a weekly basis in locations across England and Scotland, are brought together through a shared love of sport and improve their mental and physical well-being as well as having fun and making new friends.

"We are thrilled to receive this funding as a recognition of our work and the impact we have on older peoples' lives and are excited to be able to deliver Sporting Memories Clubs in Wales for the first time and utilise the rich sporting heritage and heritage of Wales to engage older people and have a positive impact.

We are looking forward to working with our partners to deliver the project and grow Sporting Memories across Wales”