Why reliving glory days is good for you

Published on: 05 Nov 2015

REMINISCENCES of past glories on the cricket pitch have been in the air this autumn to mark the centenary of the death of WG Grace.
The amazing exploits of the Downend-born bearded giant are not within living memory but his legacy has remained strong down the decades as local heroes have taken wickets and catches and notched up centuries  at the ground that bears his name.
So it’s fitting that Downend has been chosen as the latest venue for the launch of a Sporting Memories group, where volunteers can share their recollections of favourite matches.
Of course, it’s not restricted to England’s traditional summer sport – there’s the opportunity for endless re-telling of the glories (or otherwise) of Bristol Rovers and City, Bristol Rugby, and local sides too.
Sporting Memories Network is a social enterprise that promotes wellbeing through the sharing of sports reminiscences.  It supports the formation of groups of older people who get together to talk about sport.
Founder director Chris Wilkins said the project had proven benefits for mind and body. The groups are dementia friendly, but are by no means only for people with memory problems or cognitive issues.
Mr Wilkins, who was at the recent Downend Connect event to promote the planned group, aims for it to meet weekly at Downend Library and is hoping it can start in the new year.
But if it is to get off the ground it needs volunteers. Obviously, the prime qualification is an interest in sport, but there are other roles too. Anyone with research skills or just an interest in listening to people’s stories would be welcomed.
Sporting Memories already has groups in Yate and Easton and has run successful intergenerational projects in Bristol involving school children. Its next training session is at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club on November 5. To find out more, visit the website at www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com and if you’d like to get involved, contact Mr Wilkins on 07765 864484 or email chris@sportingmemoriesnetwork.com

 

Share your sporting memories

AS part of Downend Voice’s support for the Downend Connect initiative, to reduce isolation among older people, we are backing the Sporting Memories group.
We would love readers to send us their sporting memories, with photos if possible. We plan to publish them and also pass them on to the group for their archives and to stimulate further recollections and discussion.
Although we’d obviously like to hear about the time you scored a hat-trick at the old Eastville stadium, contributions are not restricted to successes. If you fell face-down in the goalmouth when retrieving the ball from the net for the ninth time, tell us about that too!
You can email us at news@downendvoice.co.uk or send to 6 Elkstone Walk, Bitton, BS30 6JT.

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