Players past and present recall their Sporting Memories
Thu 30 January 2020, 18:02|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs players past and present came together today (Thursday 30 January) to join a Sporting Memories workshop delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for local elderly people living with dementia.
Midfielder Harry Winks and former captain Gary Mabbutt attended the Spurs-themed session at Bridgewood House, a care home located around the corner from the Club’s Training Centre in Enfield.
Sporting Memories is a programme run in partnership with The Sporting Memories Foundation – a national charity that helps tackle dementia, depression and loneliness. It uses sport-themed activities and games to help those suffering from dementia or social isolation to recall memories and connect with their past.
During the workshop, Gary and Harry spent time looking through pieces of Spurs memorabilia with the residents, representative of the Club’s rich history. They also exchanged personal memories of their best moments in Spurs and wider sporting history.
Memorabilia included the 1991 FA Cup, which we won under Mabbutt’s captaincy, a programme from Winksy’s First Team debut in 2014, plus a range of shirts, footballs and match tickets from the 1930s through to the present day.
As part of the session, staff from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation also facilitated a series of football-themed games, designed to help participants try to recall past memories of watching or playing football.
Harry, who joined the Club’s Academy aged six and grew up a Spurs fan, said: “It has been a pleasure spending time with the residents at what can be a difficult time of year, especially for those suffering from loneliness.
“The Spurs fans in the room shared some interesting memories from watching the Club growing up and many of them still watch us today. It was great for me to share some of my own experiences too and tell them about playing in the new stadium.”
Gary, whose parents were both diagnosed with dementia, said: “With my mum and dad, I experienced first-hand the importance of keeping the brain active and staying connected to the people around you.
“Sport is a powerful tool for bringing people together and stirring positive feelings that may otherwise remain hidden away. What starts with a discussion about an old match programme can end in someone remembering the first time they visited a football ground. This is what makes the project so special.”
Gareth Jones, Equalities & Inclusion Manager at the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Alongside our work with young people, we are committed to providing opportunities for the elderly to take part in activities that help their wellbeing.
“Our work with Sporting Memories is a fantastic example of that. I’m always amazed by what comes out of these football-themed games and discussions.”
In addition to Sporting Memories workshops, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation supports older people in the Club’s local community by delivering seated exercise sessions in care homes and walking football for people aged 50 and over.
Bridgewood House, where today’s event took place, is also home to a 'dementia gym', which enables residents to take part in physical activity while interacting with personalised images and content on a screen. This aims to help unlock memories and encourage people suffering from the condition to reminisce about the past.
For more information about the Foundation’s work in the community, follow the link below.