Festival of Football hosts Football Memories event

An exciting initiative at Bandon AFC which embraced older members of the West Cork Community was among the highlights on the opening day of the FAI Festival of Football.

The Football Memories programme is an innovative programme which uses the theme of football to engage older members of the community in a comfortable social setting to reminisce about by-gone football glory days over a cup of tea. The programme uses materials such as photos, newspaper articles, videos and music of the era to spark fond memories and conversation for those interested in the beautiful game.

The programme is delivered in the Cork region by staff of the EU-funded “More than a Club” pilot project which is a cooperation between the FAI and Cork City FC. The pilot project is supported by the Ireland Wales European Territorial Co-Operation programme, which is helping to strengthen collaboration between Ireland and Wales to address common economic and social challenges. The FAI is partnered with Welsh Social Enterprise, Vi-Ability which aims to deliver similar type programmes in Wales.

Among the special guests at this Football Memories programme was Ray Houghton. The theme of this Football Memories session was the career of Ray Houghton who was on hand to personally recall and discuss those halcyon days for Irish football with the group in attendance. Ray was delighted to relay some amusing anecdotes about the Jack Charlton glory days and of course the excitement that surrounded the Irish football squad during that fantastic era.

The Football Memories programme is designed as a social tool to engage older members of the community with an interest in football and in particular, it’s aimed at those who may be experiencing social isolation. Indeed, the programme is also most welcoming to those who may be in the early stages of dementia with the programme being an ideal platform to trigger happy memories and include everyone in the conversation.

City in the Community Football Enterprise Coordinator, Erika Ni Thuama said:

“The Football Memories programme is just one of the initiatives we are delivering across Cork on behalf of Cork City FC as part of the “More than a Club” project. Other programmes include Walking Football, Football Transformation (Numeracy and Health support for young children) and a Run the Club programme which teaches young people how a football club operates away from the activity on the pitch. We believe football is an exceptional tool to engage people who may require social, educational or health related supports and Cork City FC is committed to contributing in this regard”

If you are interested in learning more about the Football Memories programme or other Ireland Wales programmes, you can visit www.morethanaclub.ie

Alternatively, you can contact Cork City Football Enterprise Coordinator Erika at erika.nithuama@fai.ie