Donegal GAA stars Brian McEniff, Anthony Molloy and Declan Bonner will join The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (The ASI) and Donegal GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee in the very first ‘Sporting Memories’ event in Donegal.
‘Sporting Memories’ is an awareness and support programme involving remembering and talking about sports to help improve health and wellbeing, especially of people living with dementia.
The programme aims to tackle dementia, depression, and loneliness through safe, friendly sessions, led by people with a passion for sport and a desire to help people with dementia and their family carers remain engaged in their communities.
By using sporting cues, it is possible to stimulate memory, improve communication and social skills among members and create a sense of belonging within a local community. ‘Sporting Memories’ groups tend to focus on the age group for whom sport was a major form of recreation and social activity.
Key stakeholders in this project include Donegal GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee Donegal County Council, The HSE CHO1, Donegal Sports Partnership, Slainte Care Donegal, members of the Donegal Dementia Stream, Community Health Nurses, and the extended ASI service team in Donegal.
Special guests will include Brian McEniff, Anthony Molloy and Declan Bonner, who were all part of the historic All-Ireland win back in 1992. Emer Gallagher, of the Donegal GAA Ladies Team and a well-known TG4 GAA pundit will also be in attendance.
Some other great GAA players from yesteryear will be in attendance to show their support and reminisce about great GAA sporting days. There will be displays of match programmes, photographs, jerseys, and other memorabilia to help trigger memories of previous GAA events and matches.
National Community Engagement Manager at the ASI, Cathryn O’Leary, said: “Sport plays a big part in the lives of so many people.
“Whether a person played a sport in their youth or later life, was a member of a local club, or watched and listened to matches and games, sport creates a sense of identity and a set of memories that can last a lifetime.
“‘Sporting Memories’ brings people together to reminisce about their lives through the medium of sport, using images, video, and other tools to spark memories and encourage social engagement.”
Chairperson of the Donegal GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee, Cora Harvey, said: “We hope that by leading the initial event as a county event that clubs in Donegal will host their own sporting memories within their own communities using our template.
“It is important that we remember and, more important, that we help those who cannot remember.”
‘Sporting Memories’ is a free event and takes place on Saturday 24th June in The Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, from 2pm to 4pm.
Please contact Charlie McGinley, (087-1887932) charlie.mcginley@alzheimer.