Memories Cricket Club launches at New Zealand A game
A collaborative partnership between Cricket Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland in which the sport’s archives and other resources are being used to help people with dementia takes a major step forward this week with the launch of a set of Memories Cricket Club cards which will be used in local community groups.
Sets of 100 cards have been prepared from the archives using images of players, matches and grounds. They are laminated and an accompanying booklet is being produced which will include clues to assist recall. It is hoped that over time, there will be further sets for use in Cricket Memories groups.
The cards are being launched to coincide with the international match between Scotland and New Zealand at The Grange in Edinburgh. Volunteers from Alzheimer Scotland will be on hand to explain how the Memories Cricket Club project is being set up and will have leaflets with further information.
Roddy Smith, chief executive of Cricket Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this venture with Alzheimer Scotland and look forward to supporting the development of the project across Scotland. There can be few clubs or families who are not aware of people who have to meet the challenges of dealing with dementia. Sport has a great deal to offer in terms of reminiscence and I am delighted that cricket is making its own contribution to that. I am also pleased to see how people have taken to the Memories Cricket Club work in the pilot groups.
In time, Memories Cricket Club will have its own Facebook and Twitter presence which will enable cricket fans to share their memories of past players and events. Modelled on the previously trialled and very successful project involving football, the plan is to build sets of resources to be used to help people with dementia improve their recall, communication skills, self-esteem and confidence. The project team will offer training to support groups.
The Memories Cricket Club project is based at Hampden Park in Glasgow and managed by Michael White of Alzheimer Scotland, who explained that success with football has led to the development of this parallel project for cricket. He said: “It was noticed that men with memory problems had an impressive recall of sports from their younger days and that images triggered off these memories. So far, we have developed Football, Rugby and Shinty and now we hope to run parallel projects for Golf and Cricket. We will develop the resources over time and hopefully build up an archive of Scottish and International Cricket.
Memories Cricket Club is run by trained volunteers and each group is supported by local fund-raising or sponsorship. Sessions usually last between 60 minutes and 80 minutes and there is always a break at “half time” for refreshments. Teas and coffees are provided. A trained volunteer will lead the cricket session and a professional with specific knowledge of memory problems is always part of the team.
Memories Cricket Club is being supported by a number of current and former players and officials, including Scotland's assistant coach, Craig Wright, he said: “The cricket community knows of many people who have dementia. We have so much we can contribute by talking to people and triggering memories through our photographs and memorabilia. Sharing our memories is so important.”
Volunteers are always welcome and donations can be made through the Alzheimer Scotland website at www.alzscot.org