Former football stars join Glasgow’s first-ever dementia football festival

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PLAYERS from nursing homes will join former football stars at the city’s first-ever dementia football festival.

More than 60 players from eight care homes and projects across Glasgow will take part in the event at the Toryglen Regional Football Center on Monday.

Former Scotland coach Craig Brown, former player Gordon Smith and former referee John Rowbotham are also among the participants in the Dementia Football Festival, hosted by Glasgow Life.

Research in recent years has uncovered a link between football and dementia, with the 2019 Field study finding that professional footballers were three and a half times more likely to die from the neurodegenerative disease than members of the same age in the field. general population.

The festival comes as tributes are paid to Lisbon lion Bertie Auld, whose death at the age of 83 was announced on Sunday, five months after his family said he suffered from dementia.

READ MORE: ‘A proud Glasgow at heart’ Glasgow figures pay homage to Celtic legend Bertie Auld

Festival attendees will be able to try out an activity circuit including a special ‘Reminiscing’ station supported by Football Memories Scotland, a ‘Touch’ station where they can try their hand at table football and beat the goalkeeper, and the chance to take part in a game.

Mr Brown said: ‘You will be hard pressed to find someone in Glasgow who has not played football at some point in their life, but unfortunately we tend to move away from it as we get older. , our health problems set in.

“We all know the benefits of staying fit and healthy and, with more and more research on the benefits of physical activity for people with dementia, it’s great to see Glasgow Life implementing programs like this and do their best to help everyone who is affected by dementia – including caregivers.

The festival is partly funded by an award from Life Changes Trust, a charity that invests in and supports the empowerment and inclusion of people with dementia and their unpaid caregivers.

Glasgow Life recently launched a Walking Football program for people with dementia, giving them the opportunity to play at a slower pace.

Councilor David McDonald, President of Glasgow Life and Deputy Head of Glasgow City Council, said: “Although our city is renowned for being an incredible host to major international sporting events, days like today prove really why we are a sports city.

“Giving everyone the opportunity to play sport, regardless of their background or disability, is what Glasgow does best.

“Seeing the joy on participants’ faces and hearing firsthand how our Dementia Walking Football program provides social interaction and reduces feelings of isolation just shows that people really make Glasgow. ”

Arlene Crockett, Director of Evidence and Influence with the Life Changes Trust Dementia program, hosted the festival.

She said: “Many people with dementia stop participating in activities that they may have enjoyed in the past or that allowed them to mingle with their peers.

“This project brings people together in a dementia-friendly community, where they have the opportunity to be a part of something that is meaningful to them, and that focuses on what they can do rather than what they want. ‘they can not.


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