A new Sporting Memories club was recently launched in Sudbury at Kingfisher Leisure Centre. (18 May)

The Sporting Memories network of clubs has been running for over ten years across the UK, using the power of remembering and talking about sport, along with physical exercise, to tackle dementia, depression and loneliness.

The launch session saw locals come along to hear from two Colchester United legends in Micky Packer and Micky Cook. During the session, the audience heard from both Micky’s as they shared their experiences of playing football in the 1960s and their memories of playing at Layer Road, the former home of the U’s until they moved in 2008.

Both Micky’s played over 900 games for the Essex club and they detailed how they both came through the ranks of youth football before entering first-team football at Colchester, and also shared experience of playing at hostile venues such as Millwall’s Den ground.
They were hosted by Tony Brightwell (ex Sudbury Town player and England Women’s physio).

The new club which is free to attend, will be based at Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Station Road, Sudbury and will take place every Wednesday at 14:15-15:45 and anyone is welcome to attend, no booking required.

Tracey Loynds, development director at Abbeycroft Leisure said:
“It was brilliant to see such support at a community launch event and there was plenty of laughter in the room.

We’ve been running similar sessions in Hadleigh for some time now so we see first-hand just what a difference these community groups make to peoples’ lives. We have the social license to run four groups across our portfolio and we’re confident that this group in Sudbury, led by Andy Read, is going to be hugely successful.”

Chris Wilkins, CEO of Sporting Memories, said: “We’re delighted to see this new club launch at Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury as we believe it will provide a brilliant opportunity for older members of the community to come together to chat about sport, build companionships and take part in some fun social and light physical activities.

“Our clubs are all about bringing people together to help improve the mental and physical wellbeing of club members, and we believe through the hard work of Andy Read and his fellow volunteers the club can become an important community hub in Sudbury for older people.

“Our thanks go to Andy and Abbeycroft for getting this new social license club up and running and we look forward to seeing the impact it will have on members’ lives in the upcoming months and hopefully years ahead!”

Andy Read Sporting Memories Sudbury group leader said:
“It was a great turn-out at our first session and we fully intend for this to grow. Today’s session was about football, but we hope to encourage those who love all sports to bring discussion points to the sessions. We also want a wide range of people to attend as this club is open to women and men.

We want to encourage anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely or just in need of a cuppa and some adult conversation to come and join us.
It’s free to attend, very informal with quizzes and activities each week so the more the merrier.”

To find out more about Sporting Memories in Sudbury click here.

For more information about the Sporting Memories Network and The Sporting Memories Foundation please visit https://www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com/

Micky Crook and Micky Packer with Tony Brightwell
Launch event sporting memories at sudbury
People enjoying the sporting meemories event at Sudbury