Over-55s get active in Golden Games

Sporting Memories Foundation hopes to engage more than 1,000 over-55s living with dementia, loneliness and depression in sport and social activities through their new 'Golden Games' initiative. 

The project, a joint venture between the charity and Sport England, will host its second event in York this weekend and will stage 18 events in the next three years. 

The charity was awarded funding from Sport England in October 2017 and will receive nearly half a million pounds over the next three years. 

Golden Games involve activities including tai chi, boccia, walking netball and pilates, and aim to provide alternative versions of new and traditional sports. 

Co-founder Tony Jameson-Allen told ConnectSport: “The concept is to create a fun, friendly community event where those over 55 years of age can come and try out sports they may have played previously and for health reasons have stopped. They can now try out accessible versions of them, like walking football, and also have a go at new sports such as boccia or new age kurling. 

“It's also a chance to find out more about local sporting memories groups and opportunities with partner organisations to attend physical activities.” 

Sport England’s research shows there are roughly 5.8 million inactive people over 55 in England and the number of inactive people is growing as people are living longer. 

The figures also suggest that 36% of over-55s are inactive compared to 26% of the population as a whole and inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking.  

Mike Diaper, Executive Director at Sport England, said: “We are delighted to support the Golden Games with National Lottery funding to help people with dementia and cognitive impairments get more active. 

“Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they grow older, and the way that Sporting Memories inspires them to do this is quite remarkable.” 

The event in York is free to attend and will take place between 9am and 4.30pm at the Energise Leisure Centre. 

Chris Armstrong, Community Sport Manager at the leisure centre, said: "The happiness that these events can bring people who may be living with dementia, depression or loneliness is imperative to help improve their wellbeing and that ultimately is what our organisation strives to always achieve. 

“The Golden Games is a great opportunity for local residents to try different activities, meet new people and have fun whilst doing so.”  

Find out more about the Sporting Memories Foundation on their ConnectSport directory pageTo add your organisation to our directory contact hello@connectsport.co.uk.