Supporting Players As Research Reveals Footballs Potential Impact On Long Term Health And Wellbeing
SUPPORTING PLAYERS AS RESEARCH REVEALS FOOTBALLS POTENTIAL IMPACT ON LONG TERM HEALTH & WELLBEING
Birmingham County FA is providing support to those within the local football ‘family’ living with dementia.
On Monday 21 October, The FA released the findings of the field Research Study into the effects of football on ex-professional footballers, which highlighted that 11% of former footballers included within the study died from dementia; an 8% increase on the socio-demographically matched sample.
It is statistics such as this which highlights the importance of Birmingham County FA’s work within the football community to support those that are living with dementia.
Over the past year, Birmingham County FA – which works to develop and govern all levels of the grassroots game across the West Midlands, has increased the support on offer to former players and supporters diagnosed with the disease as well as supporting their friends and families.
Each month, Birmingham County FA runs a Dementia Café event at its Ray Hall Lane HQ, which enables like-minded people with a passion for the game to have a coffee and discuss their memories and experiences within the game whilst thumbing through memorabilia and watching old match footage to help stimulate their memory.
Following consultation with both the Albion Memories (West Bromwich Albion) and Molineux Memories (Wolverhampton Wanderers) projects, Birmingham County FA’s Dementia Café takes place on the last Thursday of each month. Previously, European Cup winner with Aston Villa, Dennis Mortimer, attended an event to share his journey in football, whilst October’s Dementia Café will see historian Jim Cadman deliver a session celebrating the contribution Duncan Edwards made to the sporting heritage of the Black Country.
Keen to see the Dementia Café initiative grow, Birmingham County FA’s work raising the profile of dementia in grassroots football has resulted in the Aston Villa Foundation and Solihull Moors go through the process of setting up similar projects.
In addition, the Association worked with former grassroots player Terry Bryan, to produce a short film highlighting the beneficial impact that being around the game delivers to somebody living with dementia. The powerful film has received praise across the country by other County FAs and was warmly received at Birmingham County FA’s Grassroots Football Awards ceremony earlier this year.
Joe Robinson, Football Development Officer at Birmingham County FA, said: “Seeing the growth of our Dementia Café and the positive effect it has on the lives of all those in attendance is fantastic to see. Our goal is for more clubs, both at professional and grassroots level, to open their doors and provide a similar service to their communities, which allows individuals and their families with a common passion to have a place where they can talk about all things football related. Something as small as providing that opportunity can have a huge impact on the quality of life for those living with dementia and also provide some comfort and respite for their loved ones.”
For more information on Birmingham County FA’s work within the community to support people living with dementia, please contact Joe via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 357 4278.
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